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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Mar;41(3):603-11. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31818896f4.

Energy cost in children assessed by multisensor activity monitors.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



The SenseWear Pro2 Armband (SWA; BodyMedia, Inc., Pittsburg, PA), the Intelligent Device for Energy Expenditure and Activity (IDEEA; Minisun LLC, Fresno, CA), and the ActiReg (AR; PreMed AS, Oslo, Norway) were compared with indirect calorimetry to determine the ability of these devices to assess energy cost in children during resting and different physical activities.


Fourteen children, 11-13 yr old, wore the SWA, the IDEEA, and the AR during resting, sitting, stationary bicycling, jumping on a trampoline, playing basketball, stair walking, and walking/running along a 50-m track. The Oxycon Mobile portable metabolic system (VIASYS Healthcare, Conshohocken, PA) was used as the criterion method for energy cost.


For resting and sitting, the three activity monitors showed comparable results, but none of them accurately assessed energy cost for stationary bicycling, jumping on a trampoline, or playing basketball. The IDEEA was the only activity monitor that accurately assessed energy cost for stair walking. Also, the IDEEA showed a close estimate of energy cost across the walking and the running intensities, whereas the SWA accurately assessed energy cost for slow to normal walking but showed increased underestimation of energy cost with increasing speed. The AR overestimated energy cost during walking and during slow running but did not respond to increasing running speed.


To be able to capture children's physical activity, all three activity monitors need to be further developed. Overall, the IDEEA showed the highest ability to assess energy cost in this study, but SWA may be more feasible for use in children under free-living conditions.

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