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Validity of estimating physical activity intensity using a triaxial accelerometer in healthy adults and older adults
  1. Sho Nagayoshi1,2,
  2. Yoshitake Oshima3,
  3. Takafumi Ando4,
  4. Tomoko Aoyama5,
  5. Satoshi Nakae6,
  6. Chiyoko Usui7,
  7. Shuzo Kumagai8,
  8. Shigeho Tanaka4
  1. 1Omron Healthcare Co Ltd, Muko, Japan
  2. 2Graduate School of Human-Environment Studies, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  3. 3Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences, Kobe, Japan
  4. 4Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, Shinjuku, Japan
  5. 5Department of Nutritional Epidemiology and Shokuiku, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, Shinjuku, Japan
  6. 6Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Japan
  7. 7Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan
  8. 8Center for Health Science and Counseling, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Sho Nagayoshi; sho.nagayoshi{at}


Background A triaxial accelerometer with an algorithm that could discriminate locomotive and non-locomotive activities in adults has been developed. However, in the elderly, this accelerometer has not yet been validated. The aim were to examine the validity of this accelerometer in the healthy elderly, and to compare the results with those derived in a healthy younger sample.

Methods Twenty-nine healthy elderly subjects aged 60–80 years (Elderly), and 42 adults aged 20–59 years (Younger) participated. All subjects performed 11 activities, including locomotive and non-locomotive activities with a Douglas bag while wearing the accelerometer (Active style Pro HJA-750C). Physical activity intensities were expressed as metabolic equivalents (METs). The relationship between the METs measured using the Douglas bag and METs predicted using the accelerometer was evaluated.

Results A significant correlation between actual and predicted METs was observed in both Elderly (r=0.85, p<0.001) and Younger (r=0.88, p<0.001). Predicted METs significantly underestimated compared with actual METs in both groups (p<0.001). The mean of the errors was −0.6±0.6 METs in Elderly and −0.1±0.5 METs in Younger. The degree of underestimation increased with increasing METs in Elderly (p<0.001). A stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that predicted METs, age, and weight were related to actual METs in both groups.

Conclusion The degree of correlation between predicted and actual METs was comparable in elderly and younger participants, but the prediction errors were greater in elderly participants, particular at higher-intensity activities, which suggests that different predicting equations may be needed for the elderly.

  • validation
  • accelerometer
  • elderly people
  • physical activity

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  • Contributors SHN, TAA, TOA, SAN, CU and ST designed the study and participated in data collection. SHN conducted the statistical analysis and prepared original draft. All authors have been involved in revising the manuscript and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests SHN is employee of Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd. YO received consultant fees from Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd. SK and ST received a research grant from Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd, respectively.

  • Patient consent for publication All participants provided signed informed consent before the study.

  • Ethics approval All procedures involving human subjects were approved by the Ethics Committee of the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition in Tokyo, Japan.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.

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