Standardizing accelerometer-based activity monitor calibration and output reporting.

Coolbaugh CL, Hawkins DA
J Appl Biomech. 2014 30 (4): 594-7

PMID: 24979813 · DOI:10.1123/jab.2013-0240

Wearable accelerometer-based activity monitors (AMs) are used to estimate energy expenditure and ground reaction forces in free-living environments, but a lack of standardized calibration and data reporting methods limits their utility. The objectives of this study were to (1) design an inexpensive and easily reproducible AM testing system, (2) develop a standardized calibration method for accelerometer-based AMs, and (3) evaluate the utility of the system and accuracy of the calibration method. A centrifuge-type device was constructed to apply known accelerations (0-8g) to each sensitive axis of 30 custom and two commercial AMs. Accelerometer data were recorded and matrix algebra and a least squares solution were then used to determine a calibration matrix for the custom AMs to convert raw accelerometer output to units of g's. Accuracy was tested by comparing applied and calculated accelerations for custom and commercial AMs. AMs were accurate to within 4% of applied accelerations. The relatively inexpensive AM testing system (< $100) and calibration method has the potential to improve the sharing of AM data, the ability to compare data from different studies, and the accuracy of AM-based models to estimate various physiological and biomechanical quantities of interest in field-based assessments of physical activity.

MeSH Terms (9)

Acceleration Accelerometry Calibration Equipment Failure Analysis Reference Standards Reproducibility of Results Sensitivity and Specificity Transducers United States

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