Research Study Abstract

The Impact of Low Accelerometer Wear Time on the Estimates and Application of Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity Data in Adults

  • Published on Dec 1, 2017

Background: This investigation sought to determine how accelerometer wear (1) biased estimates of sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA), (2) affected misclassifications for meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and (3) impacted the results of regression models examining the association between moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and a clinically relevant health outcome.

Methods: A total of 100 participants [age: 20.6 (7.9) y] wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer for 15.9 (1.6) hours per day (reference dataset) on the hip. The BOD POD was used to determine body fat percentage. A data removal technique was applied to the reference dataset to create individual datasets with wear time ranging from 15 to 10 hours per day for SB and each intensity of PA.

Results: Underestimations of SB and each intensity of PA increased as accelerometer wear time decreased by up to 167.2 minutes per day. These underestimations resulted in Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans misclassification rates of up to 42.9%. The regression models for the association between MVPA and body fat percentage demonstrated changes in the estimates for each wear-time adherence level when compared to the model using the reference MVPA data.

Conclusions: Increasing accelerometer wear improves daily estimates of SB and PA, thereby also improving the precision of statistical inferences that are made from accelerometer data.


  • McGrath R
  • Vella CA
  • Scruggs PW
  • Peterson MD
  • Williams CJ
  • Paul DR


Journal of Physical Activity and Health


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