Send to

Choose Destination
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Nov;44(11):2235-42. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318260402b.

Estimating energy expenditure from raw accelerometry in three types of locomotion.

Author information

Institute of Sports Science, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany.



Accuracy of estimating activity-related energy expenditure (AEE) from raw body acceleration may improve by using prediction equations that are specific for the type of activity. The current study aims to improve published equations by deriving an equation for overground walking and to evaluate whether overground cycling and stair walking require specific prediction equations.


Participants (91 male/95 female, 8-81 yr old) were equipped with a triaxial accelerometer (DynaPort MiniMod; McRoberts BV, The Hague, The Netherlands) on their lower back. Total energy expenditure (TEE) was measured using a mobile oxygen analyzer (MetaMax 3b; Cortex Biophysik, Leipzig, Germany). Resting energy expenditure (REE) was measured for 30 min, following which a physical activity course was completed involving walking on level ground at slow (8 min), normal (8 min), and fast speed (3 min), stair walking (3 min), and cycling (8 min). AEE was calculated as TEE - REE, expressed in both absolute (kJ·min) and relative (J·min·kg) units. Mixed linear regression analysis was used for developing regression equations for walking, stair walking, and cycling.


Acceleration contributed 76% and 93% (P < 0.001) to explained variance in walking AEE for absolute and relative AEE models, respectively. Age and gender improved estimation accuracy by <1%. Applying a conservative walking equation, AEE (J·min·kg) = -40.19 + 816.11 acceleration (g) (root-mean-square error = 34.00 J·min·kg), to cycling and stair walking resulted in mean bias (95% limits of agreement) of -253 (-449, 46) and -276 (-442, 109) J·min·kg, respectively (approximately 50% bias). Acceleration added 35% and 42% to explained variance in relative AEE (J·min·kg) during cycling and stair walking, respectively; this fraction was approximately 20% for absolute AEE (kJ·min) in both activities.


AEE during walking can be predicted across a wide age range using raw acceleration, but activity-specific equations are needed for cycling and stair walking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center