Validation of accelerometry for physical activity measurement in ambulant adolescents with cerebral palsy

Clanchy, K.M., Tweedy, S.M., Boyd, R.N., & Trost, S.G. (2009) Validation of accelerometry for physical activity measurement in ambulant adolescents with cerebral palsy. In 3rd International Cerebral Palsy Conference, 18-21 February 2009, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, NSW.

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Promoting participation physical activity (PA) is an important means of promoting healthy growth and development in children with cerebral palsy (CP). The ActiGraph is a uniaxial accelerometer that provides a realtime measure of PA intensity, duration and frequency. Its small, light weight design makes it a promising measure of activity in children with CP. To date no study has validated the use of accelerometry as a measure of PA in ambulant adolescents with CP.


To evaluate the validity of the ActiGraph accelerometer for measuring PA intensity in adolescents with CP, using oxygen consumption (VO2), measured using portable indirect calorimetry (Cosmed K4b2), as the criterion measure.


Validation Study Participants/Setting: Ambulant adolescents with CP aged 10–16 years, GMFCS rating of I-III. The recruitment target is 30 (10 in each GMFCS level).


Participants wore the ActiGraph (counts/min) and a Cosmed K4b2 indirect calorimeter (mL/kg/min) during six activity trials: quiet sitting (QS), comfortable paced walking (CPW), brisk paced walking (BPW), fast paced walking (FPW), a ball-kicking protocol (KP) and a ball-throwing protocol (TP). MET levels (multiples of resting metabolism) for each activity were predicted from ActiGraph counts using the Freedson age-specific equation (Freedson et al. 2005) and compared with actual MET levels measured by the Cosmed. Predicted and measured METs for each activity trial were classified as light (> 1.5 METs and <4.6 METs) or moderate to vigorous intensity (≥ 4.6 METs).


To date 36 bouts of activity have been completed (6 participants x 6 activities). Mean VO2 increased linearly as the intensity of the walking activity increased (CPW=9.47±2.16, BPW=14.06±4.38, FPW=19.21±5.68 ml/kg/min) and ActiGraph counts reflected this pattern (CPW=1099±574, BPW=2233±797 FPW=4707±1013 counts/min). The throwing protocol recording the lowest VO2 (TP=7.50±3.86 ml/kg/min) and lowest overall counts/min (TP=31±27 counts/min). When each of the 36 bouts were classified as either light or moderate to vigorous intensity using measured VO2 as the criterion measure, the Freedson equation correctly classified 28 from 36 bouts (78%). Conclusion/Clinical


These preliminary findings suggest that there is a relationship between the intensity of PA and direct measure of oxygen consumption and that therefore the ActiGraph may be a promising tool for accurately measuring free living PA in the community. Further data collection of the complete sample will enable secondary analysis of the relationship between PA and severity of CP (GMFCS level).

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ID Code: 72586
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 05 Jun 2014 00:08
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2014 06:13

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