Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity






Background: Accelerometers can provide accurate estimates of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).However, one of the limitations of these instruments is the inability to capture light activity within an acceptablerange of error. The purpose of the present study was to determine the validity of different activity monitors forestimating energy expenditure (EE) of light intensity, semi-structured activities.
Methods: Forty healthy participants wore a SenseWear Pro3 Armband (SWA, v.6.1), the SenseWear Mini, theActiheart, ActiGraph, and ActivPAL monitors, while being monitored with a portable indirect calorimetry (IC).Participants engaged in a variety of low intensity activities but no formalized scripts or protocols were usedduring these periods.
Results: The Mini and SWA overestimated total EE on average by 1.0% and 4.0%, respectively, while the AH,the GT3X, and the AP underestimated total EE on average by 7.8%, 25.5%, and 22.2%, respectively. Thepattern-recognition monitors yielded non-significant differences in EE estimates during the semi-structuredperiod (p = 0.66, p = 0.27, and p = 0.21 for the Mini, SWA, and AH, respectively).
Conclusions: The SenseWear Mini provided more accurate estimates of EE during light to moderate intensitysemi-structured activities compared to other activity monitors. This monitor should be considered when there isinterest in tracking low intensity activities in groups of individuals.


© 2014 Calabro et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.