Individual scaling of accelerometry to preferred walking speed in the assessment of physical activity in older adults
Karavirta, Laura; Rantalainen, Timo; Skantz, Heidi; Lisko, Inna; Portegijs, Erja; Rantanen, Taina (2020). Individual scaling of accelerometry to preferred walking speed in the assessment of physical activity in older adults. Journals of Gerontology Series A : Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 75 (9), e111-e118. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glaa142
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© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.
Background Walking forms a large portion of physical activity (PA) of older adults. We assessed free-living PA using acceleration corresponding to preferred walking speed as a relative cut-point, and studied how it relates to age. We compared the relative cut-point to a common absolute cut-point of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Methods 444 community-dwelling adults aged 75, 80 and 85 wore an accelerometer on the thigh during a PA surveillance period and a modified six-minute walking test (6MWT) at preferred speed. Each individual’s mean acceleration (g) during the 6MWT was used as a cut-point for relative PA. Acceleration corresponding to three metabolic equivalents (METs) was used as the cut-point for absolute MVPA. Results When using the acceleration of preferred walking speed as a cut-point, 62 (SD 82) minutes a week of relative PA was detected, compared to 228 (163) minutes of absolute MVPA. For 96 % of the participants, the acceleration generated by their preferred walking speed exceeded the common absolute cut-point for MVPA. Absolute MVPA was lower in the older age groups, and 6MWT speed explained 22 % of its variation (p<0.001), whereas relative PA was independent of walking speed and age. Conclusions Preferred walking speed was a significant contributor to absolute MVPA, and those who walked the slowest accumulated the least MVPA. Assessing relative PA using the intensity of preferred walking speed as a cut-point eliminated the dependency of PA on age and walking speed, and may be a feasible scaling option to evaluate relative PA among older people. ...
PublisherOxford University Press; Gerontological Society of America
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland; European Commission
Funding program(s)Research post as Academy Research Fellow, AoF; Academy Project, AoF; Research costs of Academy Research Fellow, AoF
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.