Comparison of Accelerometry-Based Measures of Physical Activity. Retrospective Observational Data Analysis Study

Abstract

Background: Given the evolution of processing and analysis methods for accelerometry data over the past decade, it is important to understand how newer summary measures of physical activity compare with established measures. Objective: We aimed to compare objective measures of physical activity to increase the generalizability and translation of findings of studies that use accelerometry-based data. Methods: High-resolution accelerometry data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging were retrospectively analyzed. Data from 655 participants who used a wrist-worn ActiGraph GT9X device continuously for a week were summarized at the minute level as ActiGraph activity count, monitor-independent movement summary, Euclidean norm minus one, mean amplitude deviation, and activity intensity. We calculated these measures using open-source packages in R. Pearson correlations between activity count and each measure were quantified both marginally and conditionally on age, sex, and BMI. Each measures pair was harmonized using nonparametric regression of minute-level data. Results: Data were from a sample (N=655; male: n=298, 45.5%; female: n=357, 54.5%) with a mean age of 69.8 years (SD 14.2) and mean BMI of 27.3 kg/m2 (SD 5.0). The mean marginal participant-specific correlations between activity count and monitor-independent movement summary, Euclidean norm minus one, mean amplitude deviation, and activity were r=0.988 (SE 0.0002324), r=0.867 (SE 0.001841), r=0.913 (SE 0.00132), and r=0.970 (SE 0.0006868), respectively. After harmonization, mean absolute percentage errors of predicting total activity count from monitor-independent movement summary, Euclidean norm minus one, mean amplitude deviation, and activity intensity were 2.5, 14.3, 11.3, and 6.3, respectively. The accuracies for predicting sedentary minutes for an activity count cut-off of 1853 using monitor-independent movement summary, Euclidean norm minus one, mean amplitude deviation, and activity intensity were 0.981, 0.928, 0.904, and 0.960, respectively. An R software package called SummarizedActigraphy, with a unified interface for computation of the measures from raw accelerometry data, was developed and published. Conclusions: The findings from this comparison of accelerometry-based measures of physical activity can be used by researchers and facilitate the extension of knowledge from existing literature by demonstrating the high correlation between activity count and monitor-independent movement summary (and other measures) and by providing harmonization mapping.

NOTE: Karas and Muschelli joint first co-authorship.

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