Utilization and harmonization of adult accelerometry data: review and expert consensus

Katrien Wijndaele, Kate Westgate, Samantha Stephens, Steven N. Blair, Fiona Bull, Sebastien F. M. Chastin, David W. Dunstan, Ulf Ekelund, Dale Esliger, Patty S. Freedson, Malcolm H. Granat, Charles E. Matthews, Neville Owen, Alex V. Rowlands, Lauren B. Sherar, Mark S. Tremblay, Richard P. Troiano, Soren Brage, Genevieve N. Healy

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Purpose—To describe the scope of accelerometry data collected internationally in adults; and, to obtain a consensus from measurement experts regarding the optimal strategies to harmonize international accelerometry data. Methods—In March 2014 a comprehensive review was undertaken to identify studies that collected accelerometry data in adults (sample size N=400). Additionally, twenty physical activity experts were invited to participate in a two-phase Delphi process to obtain consensus on: unique research opportunities available with such data; additional data required to address these opportunities; strategies for enabling comparisons between studies/countries; requirements for implementing/progressing such strategies; and, value of a global repository of accelerometry data. Results—The review identified accelerometry data from >275,000 adults from 76 studies across 36 countries. Consensus was achieved after two rounds of the Delphi process; 18 experts participated in one or both rounds. Key opportunities highlighted were the ability for crosscountry/cross-population comparisons, and the analytic options available with the larger heterogeneity and greater statistical power. Basic socio-demographic and anthropometric data were considered a pre-requisite for this. Disclosure of monitor specifications, and protocols for data collection and processing were deemed essential to enable comparison and data harmonization. There was strong consensus that standardization of data collection, processing and analytical procedures was needed. To implement these strategies, communication and consensus among researchers, development of an online infrastructure, and methodological comparison work were required. There was consensus that a global accelerometry data repository would be beneficial and worthwhile. Conclusion—This foundational resource can lead to implementation of key priority areas and identifying future directions in physical activity epidemiology, population monitoring and burden of disease estimates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2129-2139
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • sedentary behaviour
  • sitting
  • physical activity
  • accelerometer


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