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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2004 Sep;44(3):262-71.

Measuring energy expenditure in cardiac patients using the Body Media Armband versus indirect calorimetry. A validation study.

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Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, PA, USA.



The purpose of this study was to compare differences in energy expenditure using the newly developed SenseWear Armband body monitor to indirect calorimetry in cardiac rehabilitation patients.


Twenty-four (62+/-8.1 years) patients completed steady state exercise for 8 minutes on 4 modes of exercise (arm ergometry, treadmill walking, recumbent stepping and rowing ergometry). Total cumulative kilojoules were recorded simultaneously by indirect calorimetry and the SenseWear Armband. Statistical analyses assessed the degree of agreement between the 2 measurement methods and 3 different versions of the SenseWear software.


The correlations between indirect calorimetry and version 2.2 of the SenseWear armband for arm and rowing ergometry, the treadmill and recumbent stepper were r=0.90, r=0.67, r=0 .80 and r=0.74, respectively. There were no between method differences during arm ergometry (p<1.000) and the recumbent stepper (p<0.102). Bland and Altman plots revealed the greatest spread of scores for the rower and the treadmill. Between method differences were minimal when using the preliminary cardiac software. The correlations for arm and rowing ergometry, the treadmill and recumbent stepper were r=0.90, r=0.84, r=0.78 and r=0.82, respectively.


The accuracy of the BodyMedia SenseWear Armband appears to be exercise modality dependent in those with heart disease when using software developed for the general population. Therefore, the information should be interpreted cautiously, particularly during treadmill walking and rowing. Initial experiments with cardiac-focused software are promising, but preliminary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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