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Children 2018, 5(8), 105;

Comparison of Accelerometer-Based Cut-Points for Children’s Physical Activity: Counts vs. Steps

School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, Ohio University, 1 University Terrace, Grover Center E154, Athens, OH 45701, USA
Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 29 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour in Children and Adolescents)
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Background: Accelerometers measure complex movements of children’s free play moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), including step and non-step movements. Current accelerometer technology has introduced algorithms to measure steps, along with counts. Precise interpretation of accelerometer-based cadence (steps/min) cut-points is necessary for accurately measuring and tracking children’s MVPA. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships and agreement between accelerometer-based cut-points (cadence and counts/min) to estimate children’s MVPA compared to measured values. Methods: Forty children (8–12 years; 25 boys) played 6–10 games while wearing a portable metabolic analyzer and GT3X+ to measure and estimate MVPA, respectively. Correlation, kappa, sensitivity, and specificity assessed the relationships and agreement between measured and estimated MVPA. Results: Games elicited, on average, 6.3 ± 1.6 METs, 64.5 ± 24.7 steps/min, and 3318 ± 1262 vertical (V) and 5350 ± 1547 vector-magnitude (VM) counts/min. The relationship between measured and estimated MVPA intensity was higher for cadence (r = 0.50) than V and VM counts/min (r = 0.38 for both). Agreement using V and VM counts/min for measuring PA intensity varied by cut-points (range: 6.8% (κ = −0.02) to 97.6% (κ = 0.49)), while agreement was low using cadence cut-points (range: 4.0% (κ = 0.0009) to 11.3% (κ = 0.001)). Conclusion: While measured and estimated values were well correlated, using cadence tended to misclassify children’s free-play MVPA. View Full-Text
Keywords: pediatric; accelerometry; cadence; step rate; energy expenditure; free-play pediatric; accelerometry; cadence; step rate; energy expenditure; free-play

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Howe, C.A.; Clevenger, K.A.; Leslie, R.E.; Ragan, M.A. Comparison of Accelerometer-Based Cut-Points for Children’s Physical Activity: Counts vs. Steps. Children 2018, 5, 105.

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