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Abstract

The Actiheart monitor uniquely allows simultaneous measurement of heart rate and movement counts. The purpose of this study was to establish validity evidence for the Actiheart monitor under laboratory and free-living conditions. A total of 34 college students (17 males and 17 females, age = 21.8 ± 3.6 years) participated in the study. In the laboratory environment, the participants completed three, 5 min bouts of treadmill walking and/or running at speeds of 3.2, 6.4, and 9.6 km/h. Outside the laboratory, participants were asked to perform free-living physical activity for 30 min. For validation, energy expenditure, movement counts, and heart rate measurements from the Actiheart monitor were compared with an AEI Moxus Metabolic Cart, Actigraph accelerometer, Polar heart rate monitor (HRM), and electrocardiogram (ECG), respectively. The Actiheart underestimated energy expenditure only at the highest workload in the laboratory environment compared with the metabolic cart (p = .009). Actiheart heart rate (HR) was similar to the HR measured by ECG at all workloads. Under free-living conditions, the Actiheart energy expenditure was highly correlated (r = .81) with the Actigraph energy expenditure with no significant differences (t(33) =.26; p = .80). Actiheart heart rate was also highly correlated with HR from the Polar HRM (r = .93), however, there was an overestimation of HR by the Actiheart monitor (t(33) = 3.00; p = .005) under free-living conditions. The Actiheart monitor appears to accurately measure physical activity under free-living conditions and at low and moderate intensities in the laboratory environment.