University of Oulu

Stenbäck, V., Leppäluoto, J., Juustila, R., Niiranen, L., Gagnon, D., Tulppo, M., & Herzig, K.-H. (2022). Step detection accuracy and energy expenditure estimation at different speeds by three accelerometers in a controlled environment in overweight/obese subjects. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11(12), 3267.

Step detection accuracy and energy expenditure estimation at different speeds by three accelerometers in a controlled environment in overweight/obese subjects

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Author: Stenbäck, Ville1; Leppäluoto, Juhani1; Juustila, Rosanna1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Biomedicine, Medical Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
2Helsinki Clinic for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Foundation for Sports and Exercise Medicine, 00550 Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Clinicum, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
4School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON P3E 2C6, Canada
5Center for Research in Occupational Safety and Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON P3E 2C6, Canada
6Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Metabolic Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 61-701 Poznan, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-15


Our aim was to compare three research-grade accelerometers for their accuracy in step detection and energy expenditure (EE) estimation in a laboratory setting, at different speeds, especially in overweight/obese participants. Forty-eight overweight/obese subjects participated. Participants performed an exercise routine on a treadmill with six different speeds (1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, and 9 km/h) for 4 min each. The exercise was recorded on video and subjects wore three accelerometers during the exercise: Sartorio Xelometer (SX, hip), activPAL (AP, thigh), and ActiGraph GT3X (AG, hip), and energy expenditure (EE) was estimated using indirect calorimetry for comparisons. For step detection, speed-wise mean absolute percentage errors for the SX ranged between 9.73–2.26, 6.39–0.95 for the AP, and 88.69–2.63 for the AG. The activPALs step detection was the most accurate. For EE estimation, the ranges were 21.41–15.15 for the SX, 57.38–12.36 for the AP, and 59.45–28.92 for the AG. All EE estimation errors were due to underestimation. All three devices were accurate in detecting steps when speed exceeded 4 km/h and inaccurate in EE estimation regardless of speed. Our results will guide users to recognize the differences, weaknesses, and strengths of the accelerometer devices and their algorithms.

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Series: Journal of clinical medicine
ISSN: 2077-0383
ISSN-E: 2077-0383
ISSN-L: 2077-0383
Volume: 11
Issue: 12
Article number: 3267
DOI: 10.3390/jcm11123267
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (