Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.22(5) > 1038599

Choi, An, Lee, Lee, and Kim: Accuracy of Accelerometer for the Prediction of Energy Expenditure and Activity Intensity in Athletic Elementary School Children During Selected Activities



Accurate assessment of energy expenditure is important for estimation of energy requirements in athletic children. The objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of accelerometer for prediction of selected activities' energy expenditure and intensity in athletic elementary school children.


The present study involved 31 soccer players (16 males and 15 females) from an elementary school (9-12 years). During the measurements, children performed eight selected activities while simultaneously wearing the accelerometer and carrying the portable indirect calorimeter. Five equations (Freedson/Trost, Treuth, Pate, Puyau, Mattocks) were assessed for the prediction of energy expenditure from accelerometer counts, while Evenson equation was added for prediction of activity intensity, making msix equations in total. The accuracy of accelerometer for energy prediction was assessed by comparing measured and predicted values, using the paired t-test. The intensity classification accuracy was evaluated with kappa statistics and ROC-Curve.


For activities of lying down, television viewing and reading, Freedson/Trost, Treuth were accurate in predicting energy expenditure. Regarding Pate, it was accurate for vacuuming and slow treadmill walking energy prediction. Mattocks was accurate in treadmill running activities. Concerning activity intensity classification accuracy, Pate (kappa=0.72) had the best performance across the four intensities (sedentary, light, moderate, vigorous). In case of the sedentary activities, all equations had a good prediction accuracy, while with light activities and Vigorous activities, Pate had an excellent accuracy (ROC-AUC=0.91, 0.94). For Moderate activities, all equations showed a poor performance.


In conclusion, none of the assessed equations was accurate in predicting energy expenditure across all assessed activities in athletic children. For activity intensity classification, Pate had the best prediction accuracy.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

Comparison of predicted energy expenditure by ActiGraph with measured energy expenditure by K4b2.

* Statistically significant (p<0.001). (LD: Lying down, TV: Television viewing, RE: Reading, VA: Vacuuming, SW: Slow walking(2.5mph), BW: Brisk walking (3.5mph), SC: Stair climbing, RU: Running (5mph)).
Table 1

Description of the eight activity trials

Table 2

ActiGraph prediction models


1) SED: Sedentary activity

2) LPA: Light activity

3) MPA: Moderate activity

4) VPA: Vigorous activity

5) Per 15s, all other counts reported per minute

METS: Metabolic equivalents, VO2: Volume of oxygen consumption (ml/kg/min), AEE: activity energy expenditure (kcal/kg/min), PAEE: physical activity energy expenditure (KJ/kg/min)

Table 3

Cut off points of physical activity intensity by Trost (2011)


1) Measured by Cosmed K4b2

Table 4

Anthropometric measurements of subjects


1) Mean±SD

2) Measured by Inbody 620

3) Body weight (kg)/[Height (m)]2

4) Body weight (kg)−Fat mass (kg)

5) Significant difference between male and female was tested by Mann-Whitney test *: p<0.01

Table 5

Descriptive statistics for VO2, EE and ActiGraph counts for eight activity trials. Comparison of measured METS with the values ofFAO/WHO/UNU and Compendium child


1) Measured by Cosmed K4b2

2) VO2: Oxygen consumption

3) EE: Energy expenditure

4) FAO/WHO/UNU (1985)

5) Compendium Child METS by Ridley and Olds (2008)

6) Mean±SD

7) Slow walking (2.5 mph), Brisk walking (3.5 mph), Running (5 mph)

8) abc: Different superscripts indicate significant difference p<0.05 by Tukey's multiple comparison test

Table 6

Sensitivity, specificity, and area under the ROC curve (ROC°©AUC) values for the classification of sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous activity


1) Se: Sensitivity

2) Sp: Specificity

3) AUC: area under curve, CI: confidence interval


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Eun-Kyung Kim

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