Validity and reliability of the activPAL4TM for measurement of body postures and stepping activity in 6–12-year-old children

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Downloads (Pure)


A link between inappropriate physical behaviour patterns (low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour) and poor health outcomes has been observed. To provide evidence to quantify this link, it is important to have valid and reliable assessment tools. This study aimed to assess the validity and reliability of the activPAL4TM monitor for distinguishing postures and measuring stepping activity of 6–12-year-old children. Thirteen children (8.5 ± 1.8 years) engaged in pre-determined standardised (12 min) and non-standardised (6 min) activities. Agreement, specificity and positive predictive value were assessed between the activPAL4TM and direct observation (DO) (nearest 0.1 s). Between-activPAL4TM (inter-device) and between-observer (inter-rater) reliability were determined. Detection of sitting and stepping time and forward purposeful step count were all within 5% of DO. Standing time was slightly overestimated (+10%) and fast walking/jogging steps underestimated (−20%). For non-standardised activities, activPAL4TM step count matched most closely to combined backward and forward purposeful steps; however, agreement varied widely. The activPAL4TM demonstrated high levels of reliability (ICC(1, 1) > 0.976), which were higher in some instances than could be achieved through direct observation (ICC(2, 1) > 0.851 for non-standardised activities). Overall, the activPAL4TM recorded standardised activities well. However, further work is required to establish the exact nature of steps counted by the activPAL4TM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4555
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Early online date8 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • activity monitor
  • children
  • posture
  • reliability and validity
  • sedentary time
  • sitting time
  • stepping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Validity and reliability of the activPAL4TM for measurement of body postures and stepping activity in 6–12-year-old children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this