Physical Activity Monitoring
IPLAY: The Intervention of PhysicaL Activity in Youth (IPLAY) Study is a five year project funded by NIH to examine the effects of an environmental and curricular intervention
on levels of physical activity in children. The environmental modification includes the construction of colorful, multi-use, activity-promoting Learning Landscapes playgrounds (see photo below). The curriculum involves SPARK Active Recreation at
recess and Balance First during PE. Our responsibility is to objectively monitor physical activity levels in a subsample of first, third and fifth grade students using accelerometers. We found that during recess, boys were more active than girls.
Also, boys with renovated playgrounds participate in more MVPA during recess than boys without renovated playgrounds, while girls do not. During recess there were no significant differences between normal weight and overweight children. See Figure 1.
Average percent of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during recess. Values
inside bars represent minutes of MVPA during recess. LL= Learning Landscapes (renovated
playgrounds), non-LL= Non-Learning Landscapes (non-renovated playgrounds), NW= Normal
weight, OW/OB= Overweight/Obese.
Accelerometer Calibration Studies: We are conducting calibration studies on various accelerometers
in 6-11 year old children. We collect metabolic data using the Oxycon Mobile portable
metabolic cart, and accelerometry data using the Actical, Actigraph and GeneActiv
monitors placed on the wrist. Children participate in a variety of activities including
coloring, walking, jogging, playing foursquare, playing Wii®, and various activities
on a local playground. The goal of the calibration studies is to determine cutpoints
to distinguish between sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous activity. Here we
have examined the relationship between metabolic equivalents (METs) and Actical
accelerometer counts using linear regression. Cutpoints have been established for
sedentary (≤1.5 METs), light (1.5-3 METs), moderate (3-6 METs) and vigorous (≥ 6
METs) activity (see Figure 2).
Cutpoints for accelerometer count and METs.
Active Classroom Project: We have just set up the first classroom at CSU to promote a less
sedentary learning environment. The classroom has been equipped with 10 fit-ball
chairs and a back-row of standing height desks. Research is on-going about professor
and student acceptance of this new learning environment.
Stairwell project: We are starting a project looking at whether
the positioning of a stairwell or elevator in a building can affect stair usage.
Previous research has shown that making stairways more aesthetically pleasing can
lead to increased stair use. The next question is whether the location of stairways
in a building will have similar effects.
and validate a new footwear based physical activity monitor. We have a just completed
a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to develop a new physical activity monitor
that uses insole pressure and accelerometry to quantify posture allocation, types
of activity and energy expenditure. Our results show that this device is more accurate
than other commercially available devices (see figure 4).
Mean (SE) measured and estimated energy expenditure using each device.