Methodological considerations in using accelerometers to assess habitual physical activity in children aged 0-5 years

Child Obesity Research Centre, University of Wollongong, Australia.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (Impact Factor: 3.08). 02/2009; 12(5):557-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2008.10.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper reviews the evidence behind the methodological decisions accelerometer users make when assessing habitual physical activity in children aged 0-5 years. The purpose of the review is to outline an evidence-guided protocol for using accelerometry in young children and to identify gaps in the evidence base where further investigation is required. Studies evaluating accelerometry methodologies in young children were reviewed in two age groups (0-2 years and 3-5 years) to examine: (i) which accelerometer should be used, (ii) where the accelerometer should be placed, (iii) which epoch should be used, (iv) how many days of monitoring are required, (v) how many minutes of monitoring per day are required, (vi) how data should be reduced, (vii) which cut-point definitions for identifying activity intensity should be used, and (viii) which physical activity outcomes should be reported and how. Critique of the available evidence provided a basis for the development of a recommended users protocol in 3-5-year olds, although several issues require further research. Because of the absence of methodological studies in children under 3 years, a protocol for the use of accelerometers in this age range could not be specified. Formative studies examining the utility, feasibility and validity of accelerometer-based physical activity assessments are required in children under 3 years of age. Recommendations for further research are outlined, based on the above findings, which, if undertaken, will enhance the accuracy of accelerometer-based assessments of habitual physical activity in young children.

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    • "Penpraze et al. (2006) indicated that the reliability of PA monitoring was nearly the same over 3–10 days for 4–5 year old children. Thus, Cliff et al. (2009b) suggested that monitoring should be for at least 3 days for young children. In addition, our previous study showed that PA intensity on weekends was significantly higher for children in kindergartens than those enrolled in nursery schools, although PA intensity on weekdays did not differ significantly. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: The prevalence of thinness has increased among Japanese children. Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between physical activity and body mass index (BMI) among Japanese pre-school children. Subjects and methods: Subjects were 425 4-6-year-old Japanese girls and boys. Their weights were classified as normal, overweight or thin, based on Cole's international cut-offs for BMI. Physical activity was assessed using a triaxial accelerometer (ActivTracer, GMS) for 6 consecutive days. Results: Physical activity in overweight children was comparable to that in normal-weight children after controlling for age and gender. However, thin children spent significantly greater time engaged in low-intensity activities (physical activity ratio < 2) and spent less time engaged in light-intensity physical activity (2 ≤ physical activity ratio < 3) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (physical activity ratio ≥ 3) than normal-weight and overweight children, and less time engaged in higher-intensity physical activity (physical activity ratio ≥ 4) than normal-weight children. Moreover, thin children spent significantly less time engaged in locomotive physical activity than normal-weight or overweight children. Conclusion: This study suggests that thinness, rather than excess weight, is associated with decreased light, moderate and high intensity physical activity in Japanese pre-school children.
    Annals of Human Biology 07/2013; 40(6). DOI:10.3109/03014460.2013.815802 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    • "n soft snow , or skating on ice . Also , accelerometers do not detect movements , which are sedentary but need balance and / or concentration in order to develop motor skills or are integral to certain low - intensity activities ( e . g . singing , drawing , and completing puzzles ) , which are particularly important for young preschool children ( Cliff et al . , 2009 ) . Although previous research has found that triaxial accelerometers generate data with a higher level of validity than uniaxial accelerometers ( Rowlands , 2007 ) , conjec - ture remains as to whether triaxial accelerometers detect PA better than uniaxial accel - erometers in children ( Oliver et al . , 2007 ) . In this study , we ana"
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    ABSTRACT: 2013): Seasonal and daily variation in physical activity among three-year-old Finnish preschool children, Early Child Development and Care, This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings,
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    • "Programmes/Programme_5/InDepth/Program%205_Downloads. html) to remove any data recorded after 11 p.m. and before 6 a.m.; periods of 10 min or more that had continuous zero activity counts and any days with less than 500 min of recording (the cut-off used to define a valid day) (Cliff et al., 2009). Participants with fewer than three valid days of recording (including at least one weekend-day and one weekday) were also excluded; 3 days of measurement has been shown to result in a reliable estimate of total physical activity in children (Penpraze et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: We examined frequency of use of 11 physical activity (PA) locations among 539 San Diego children (45.0% males, 41.2% Latinos; mean ± SD age: 6.6 ± 0.7 years) and explored associations between location use, PA and potential correlates. Parents reported child's use (visits/week) of 11 locations. Child PA was assessed by accelerometry (subsample n = 178). The most frequently used locations (mean ± SD times/week) were homes (3.2 ± 2.3) and parks/playground (1.6 ± 1.3). Children used 4.0 ± 2.0 locations in a typical week, and made a total of 12.5 ± 6.8 visits/week to all locations. Latinos used fewer locations regularly (3.6 ± 2.1 vs. 4.3 ± 1.9 locations; p < 0.001) and had fewer visits to all locations (11.4 ± 7.4 vs. 13.2 ± 6.4 visits/week; p = 0.003) than non-Latinos. Accelerometry-assessed vigorous PA (VPA) was positively associated with the number of locations regularly used (ß = 0.04, p = 0.03) and total visits to all locations among Latinos (ß = 0.09, p = 0.005). Parental PA support was positively associated with locations used (ß = 0.64, p < 0.001) and visits to all locations (ß = 2.56, p < 0.001). Children using a greater variety of locations did more VPA. Latinos making more total visits to all locations had higher VPA.
    Health & Place 07/2011; 17(4):911-9. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.04.008 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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