Comparison of polar active watch and waist-and wrist-worn actigraph accelerometers for measuring children’s physical activity levels during unstructured afterschool programs

Youngdeok Kim, Marc Lochbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity of the Polar Active Watch (PAW), a consumer-grade wrist-worn activity monitor, against waist-and wrist-worn research-grade monitors, the ActiGraph GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers, in children. Methods: Fifty-one children (18 boys; mean age = 10.30 ± 0.91 years) wore the three monitors (PAW, GT3X+, and GT9X) during an 80-min afterschool program across five school days. Time spent in sedentary, light-intensity (LPA), and moderate-and vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) were estimated from each monitor. The correlation, mixed model, mean absolute percentage error, equivalence testing, and Bland-Altman analyses were used to examine the comparability of PA estimates of the PAW with GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers. Results: Moderate to strong correlations for sedentary and MVPA minutes, and weak correlation for LPA were observed between the PAW and GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers. Significant mean differences were found, where the PAW tended to overestimate time in sedentary and MVPA and underestimate LPA minutes, compared to the GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers. However, a non-significant mean difference in MVPA minutes was observed when using an adjusted MET threshold (≥4 METs) for the PAW, compared to the GT3X+ accelerometer. Conclusions: The PAW showed moderate convergent validity for sedentary and MVPA minutes against the GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers. However, caution is needed in the direct comparison between the monitors due to relatively large mean differences and within-group variability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2268
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume15
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2018

Keywords

  • Accelerometer
  • Health
  • Validity
  • Youth

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