Agreement of two physical behaviour monitors for characterising posture and stepping in children aged 6-12 years

Esraa Burahmah*, Sivaramkumar Shanmugam, Daniel Williams, Ben Stansfield

*Corresponding author for this work

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All new physical behaviour measurement devices should be assessed for compatibility with previous devices. Agreement was assessed between the activPAL4TM and activPAL3TM physical behavior monitors within a laboratory and a multi-day free-living context. Healthy children aged 6-12 years performed standardised (sitting, standing, stepping) (12 min) and non-standardised (6 min) activities in a laboratory and a multi-day (median 3 days) free-living assessment whilst wearing both monitors. Agreement was assessed using Bland-Altman plots, sensitivity, and the positive predictive value (PPV). There were 15 children (7M/8F, 8.4 ± 1.8 years old) recruited. For the laboratory-based standardised activities, sitting time, stepping time, and fast walking/jogging step count were all within ±5% agreement. However, the activPAL4TM standing time was lower (-6.4%) and normal speed walking step count higher (+7.8%) than those of the activPAL3TM. For non-standardised activities, a higher step count was recorded by the activPAL4TM (+4.9%). The standardised activity sensitivity and PPV were all >90%, but the non-standardised activity values were lower. For free-living agreement, the standing time was lower (-7.6%) and step count higher (all steps + 2.2%, steps with cadence >100 step/min + 6.6%) for the activPAL4TM than the activPAL3TM. This study highlights differences in outcomes as determined by the activPAL4TM and activPAL3TM, which should be considered when comparing outcomes between studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8970
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number21
Early online date4 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • agreement
  • children
  • monitoring
  • physical activity
  • posture
  • stepping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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