Considerations in Processing Accelerometry Data to Explore Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Older Adults

Claire L. Cleland, Sara Ferguson, Paul McCrorie, Jasper Schipperijn, Geraint Ellis, Ruth F. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
266 Downloads (Pure)


Processing decisions for accelerometry data can have important implications for outcome measures, yet little evidence exists exploring these in older adults. The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of three potentially important criteria on older adults, physical activity, and sedentary time. Participants ( n = 222: mean age 71.75 years [ SD = 6.58], 57% male) wore ActiGraph GT3X+ for 7 days. Eight data processing combinations from three criteria were explored: low-frequency extension (on/off), nonwear time (90/120 min), and intensity cut points (moderate-to-vigorous physical activity ≥1,041 and >2,000 counts/min). Analyses included Wilcoxon signed-rank test, paired t tests, and correlation coefficients (significance, p < .05). Results for low-frequency extension on 90-min nonwear time and >1,041 counts/min showed significantly higher light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and lower sedentary time. Cut points had the greatest impact on physical activity and sedentary time. Processing criteria can significantly impact physical activity and/or sedentary time, potentially leading to data inaccuracies, preventing cross-study comparisons and influencing the accuracy of population surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623–633
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2020


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