Reliable assessment of physical activity in disease: an update on activity monitors

K.R. Westerterp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Physical activity is the main determinant of variability of individual energy expenditure. Reliable assessment of the activity level of an individual provides information on energy requirement and vital health. Here, evidence is presented on the validity of methods to assess physical activity as applied in health and disease. RECENT FINDINGS: Improvement of technology has resulted in a growing number of physical activity monitors to evaluate the activity level of an individual. Outcome measures vary from raw data on body acceleration and posture to activity levels derived from proprietary algorithms based on body acceleration combined with sensor information on additional activity-induced physiological responses. Data interpretation is limited by evidence-based studies on the value of measured parameters for the assessment of physical activity. SUMMARY: The optimal tool for reliable assessment of physical activity is an accelerometer providing a valid measure of body movement. Overall validity is derived from studies using doubly labelled water-assessed activity-induced energy as a reference. Thus, out of the large range of activity monitors, three came out with a better validity. The ultimate tool is a single unobtrusive device allowing valid and long-term monitoring of activity with regard to type and intensity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-406
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • accelerometers
  • body movement
  • doubly labelled water
  • energy expenditure
  • physical activity
  • ACTIVITY ENERGY-EXPENDITURE
  • DOUBLY LABELED WATER
  • OLDER-ADULTS
  • HEART-RATE
  • VALIDATION
  • VALIDITY
  • ACCELEROMETER
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • CHILDREN
  • ACTIHEART

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