Measuring postural physical activity in people with chronic low back pain

Cormac G. Ryan, P. Margaret Grant, Heather Gray, Mary Newton, Malcolm H. Granat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The objective measurement of free-living physical activity may facilitate the rehabilitation of people with chronic low back pain (CLBP). Objective: This study was designed to investigate the validity of a novel monitor which purports to measure physical activity. Ten participants with CLBP (9 female, 1 male; age 51 ± 10 years; BMI 27 ± 5 kg.m^{-2}) wearing an activPAL™ activity monitor, were videoed performing a range of everyday tasks in a semi-constrained environment. From the video recordings the activity involved in the tasks was visually classified (criterion method) into four postures: lying/sitting; upright (standing and walking); standing; and walking. This provided a second-by-second recording of movement and posture. Observational data were compared to the activity monitor output for the same four postures. The accuracy of the monitor in measuring step count and cadence was also compared to visual observation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • step number
  • cadence
  • chronic low back pain
  • physical activity


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