Research Study Abstract

Methods to estimate aspects of physical activity and sedentary behavior from high frequency wrist accelerometer measurements

  • Published on June 25, 2015

Abstract: This investigation developed models to estimate aspects of physical activity and sedentary behavior from three-axis high frequency wrist worn accelerometer data. The models were developed and tested on twenty participants (n=10 males, n=10 females, mean age= 24.1, mean BMI = 23.9) who wore an Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer on their dominant wrist and an Actigraph GT3X on the hip while performing a variety of scripted activities. Energy expenditure was concurrently measured by a portable indirect calorimetry system. Those calibration data were then used to develop and assess both machine learning and simpler models to estimate METs and to classify activity intensity, sedentary time, and locomotion time. The wrist models estimated METs (random forest: rMSE = 1.21 METs, hip: rMSE = 1.67 METs) and activity intensity (random forest: 75% correct, hip: 60% correct) better than a previously developed model that used counts per minute measured at the hip. The simpler methods classified activity intensity (random forest: 75% correct, tree: 74% correct), sedentary time (random forest: 96% correct, decision tree: 97% correct), and locomotion time (random forest: 99% correct, decision tree: 96% correct), nearly as well or better than the machine learning approaches. Preliminary investigation of the models’ performance on two free-living people suggests that they may work well outside of controlled conditions.


Journal of Applied Physiology