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Medicina dello Sport 2013 December;66(4):497-511

Copyright © 2014 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Accelerometers: a physical activity assessment tool

Santos-Lozano A. 1, Garatachea N. 2

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University College of Health Sciences, University of Leon (Ponferrada Campus), Leon, Spain; 2 Department of Physiotherapy and Nursing, Faculty of Health and Sport Science, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain


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The purpose of this revision was to address methodological issues related to accelerometer-based assessments of physical activity (PA). Special interest is also put on recently updated technology. No definitive evidence currently exists to indicate which are the most valid and reliable accelerometer models for use with different kind people. When it comes to selecting an accelerometer, issues of affordability, product reliability, monitor size, technical support, and comparability with other studies may be equally as important as the relative validity and reliability of an instrument. Accelerometers can provide reliable information on mobility and objective measurement of PA. These activity monitors have significant advantages when compared with other quantitative methods for measurement of energy expenditure. Accelerometers are currently used mainly in a research setting; however, with recent advances, incorporation into clinical and fitness practice is possible and increasing.

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