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Validity and Accuracy of Physical Activity Monitors for Estimating Energy Expenditure During Wheelchair Locomotion
American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting (2012)
  • Scott A. Conger, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Stacy N. Scott, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Jennifer I. Flynn, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Brian M. Tyo, Columbus State University
  • David R. Bassett, University of Tennessee - Knoxville

PURPOSE: To compare energy expenditure (EE) estimates of two physical activity monitors with measured EE during wheelchair locomotion.

METHODS: Participants were fourteen individuals who used manual wheelchairs. Each participant performed five different locomotion activities in a manual wheelchair. These activities included wheeling on a level surface that elicited a low rolling resistance at three different speeds (4.5, 5.5, and 6.5 km·hr-1), wheeling on a rubberized 400m track that elicited a higher rolling resistance at one speed (5.5 km·hr-1), and wheeling on sidewalk course that included uphill and downhill segments at the participants self-selected speed. EE was measured using a portable indirect calorimetry system (Oxycon Mobile, Viasys Healthcare). Each subject wore an Actical (AC) and a SenseWear (SW) activity monitor on the right wrist and upper arm, respectively. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare measured EE to the estimates from the AC and the SW. Additionally, EE estimates from a wheelchair specific prediction equation using the SW data (Hiremath and Ding, 2011) was also compared. Bland-Altman plots were used to assess the agreement between the criterion values and the predicted values.

RESULTS: A repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated a significant main effect between measured EE and estimated EE (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences between the criterion method and the AC (±9 to 25%, p > 0.05). The SW significantly overestimated EE when wheeling at 4.5 km·hr-1, 5.5 km·hr-1, 6.5 km·hr-1, and during self-paced sidewalk wheeling (+30 to 80%, p < 0.05). The Hiremath and Ding SW equation on average improved in the EE prediction during low intensity activities, but error progressively increased during higher intensity activities (+27 to 43%).

CONCLUSION: Overall, the wrist-mounted AC can accurately estimate EE (±9 to 25%) whereas the SW tends to overestimate EE during wheelchair locomotion. The wrist-mounted accelerometer is a viable option for physical activity assessment during wheelchair propulsion.

Publication Date
May 31, 2012
Citation Information
Scott A. Conger, Stacy N. Scott, Jennifer I. Flynn, Brian M. Tyo, et al.. "Validity and Accuracy of Physical Activity Monitors for Estimating Energy Expenditure During Wheelchair Locomotion" American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting (2012)
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