Generation and validation of ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer cut-points for assessing physical activity intensity in older adults. The OUTDOOR ACTIVE validation study.

Karin Bammann*, Nicola K. Thomson, Birte M. Albrecht, Duncan S. Buchan, Chris Easton

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The study of physical activity in older adults is becoming more and more relevant. For evaluation of physical activity recommendations, intensity-specific accelerometer cut-points are utilized. However, research on accelerometer cut-points for older adults is still scarce. The aim of the study was to generate placement-specific cut-points of ActiGraph GT3X+ activity counts and raw measures of acceleration to determine physical activity intensity in older adults. A further aim was to compare the validity of the generated cut-points for a range of different physical activities.

The study was a single experimental trial using a convenience sample. Study participants were 20 adults aged 59 to 73 years. Accelerometers were worn at six different placements (one on each wrist, one on each ankle, and two at the hip) and breath-by-breath indirect calorimetry was used as the reference for energy. The experiment comprised of two parts; a) The first required participants to walk on a treadmill at incremental speeds (3.0-5.0 km·h-1 ), and b) Five different everyday activities (reading, cleaning, shopping, cycling, aerobics) were staged in the laboratory setting. Accelerometer cut-points (activity counts, raw data) were derived for each of the investigated placements by linear regression using the treadmill part. Performance of the cut-points was assessed by applying the cutpoints to the everyday activities. We provide cut-points for six placements and two accelerometer metrics in the specific age group. However, the derived cut-points did not outperform published ones. More research and innovative approaches are needed for improving internal and external validity of research results across populations and age groups.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0252615
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2021

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