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Accelerometer output and its association with energy expenditure during manual wheelchair propulsion

Learmonth, Y.C.ORCID: 0000-0002-4857-8480, Kinnett-Hopkins, D., Rice, I.M., Dysterheft, J.L. and Motl, R.W. (2016) Accelerometer output and its association with energy expenditure during manual wheelchair propulsion. Spinal Cord, 54 (2). pp. 110-114.

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Study design: This is an experimental design.

Objectives: This study examined the association between rates of energy expenditure (that is, oxygen consumption (VO 2)) and accelerometer counts (that is, vector magnitude (VM)) across a range of speeds during manual wheelchair propulsion on a motor-driven treadmill. Such an association allows for the generation of cutoff points for quantifying the time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during manual wheelchair propulsion.

Setting: The study was conducted in the University Laboratory.

Methods: Twenty-four manual wheelchair users completed a 6-min period of seated rest and three 6-min periods of manual wheelchair propulsion on a motor-driven wheelchair treadmill. The 6-min periods of wheelchair propulsion corresponded with three treadmill speeds (1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 mph) that elicited a range of physical activity intensities. Participants wore a portable metabolic unit and accelerometers on both wrists. Primary outcome measures included steady-state VO 2 and VM, and the strength of association between VO 2 and VM was based on the multiple correlation and squared multiple correlation coefficients from linear regression analyses.

Results: Strong linear associations were established between VO 2 and VM for the left (R=0.93±0.44; R 2 =0.87±0.19), right (R=0.95±0.37; R 2 =0.90±0.14) and combined (R=0.94±0.38; R 2 =0.88±0.15) accelerometers. The linear relationship between VO 2 and VM for the left, right and combined wrists yielded cutoff points for MVPA of 3659 ±1302, 3630±1403 and 3644±1339 counts min -1, respectively.

Conclusion: We provide cutoff points based on the linear association between energy expenditure and accelerometer counts for estimating time spent in MVPA during manual wheelchair propulsion using wrist-worn accelerometry. The similarity across wrist location permits flexibility in selecting a location for wrist accelerometry placement.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Copyright: © 2016 International Spinal Cord Society
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