Bryce T. Daniels1, Kaitlyn M. Gallagher1, Michelle Gray1, & Erin K. Howie1

1University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

People who participate in regular physical activity (PA) have a decreased risk of chronic diseases and premature death. A dramatic decrease of PA occurs from adolescence to young adulthood. With serious implications on health, PA is a critical behavior to measure. However, inconsistencies exist on how to measure PA. When using accelerometers, differences between the preferred (arm most commonly used to perform daily tasks of living [P]) or non-preferred (NP) wrist may result in different estimates of PA. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare the P and NP wrist measured PA using commonly used research accelerometers during structured daily college activities and free-living (FL) conditions of college students. METHODS: 30 college students (15 females and 15 males) completed 7 lab tasks including shooting a basketball (BB), relaxing on a couch (Relax), hitting a racquetball (RB), walking up and down stairs (WUS), walking on an inclined surface (WUI), walking while using a smart phone (WSP), and using a laptop (COM). An accelerometer was placed on each wrist and the right hip. After the tasks, the students completed one week of FL conditions wearing an accelerometer on each wrist. Accelerometer counts from the P and NP wrists were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests for the lab activities and a paired t tests for the FL conditions with α at 0.05. RESULTS: P and NP total counts per minute (tCPM) from the respective accelerometer were significantly different for BB, COM, RB, Relax, WSP, and WUS. The FL conditions showed no significant differences between the P and NP wrist. All means, standard deviations, and p-values are displayed in Table 1. CONCLUSION: Researchers should be aware of differences between the P and NP wrist in PA measurements during structured activities. Though for FL conditions, less concern should be placed on the P or NP wrist. Findings suggest that future studies should further investigate wrist placement and tightness of the device on the wrist.

B Daniels Table 1.docx (13 kB)
B Daniels Table 1

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