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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910


BENTO, Teresa; CORTINHAS, António; LEITAO, José Carlos  and  MOTA, Maria Paula. Use of accelerometry to measure physical activity in adults and the elderly. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.3, pp.561-570.  Epub Mar 27, 2012. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To review the use of accelerometry as an objective measure of physical activity in adults and elderly people. METHODS: A systematic review of studies on the use of accelerometty as an objective measure to assess physical activity in adults were examined in PubMed Central, Web of Knowledge, EBSCO and Medline databases from March 29 to April 15, 2010. The following keywords were used: "accelerometry," "accelerometer," "physical activity," "PA," "patterns," "levels," "adults," "older adults," and "elderly," either alone or in combination using "AND" or "OR." The reference lists of the articles retrieved were examined to capture any other potentially relevant article. Of 899 studies initially identified, only 18 were fully reviewed, and their outcome measures abstracted and analyzed. RESULTS: Eleven studies were conducted in North America (United States), five in Europe, one in Africa (Cameroon) and one in Australia. Very few enrolled older people, and only one study reported the season or time of year when data was collected. The articles selected had different methods, analyses, and results, which prevented comparison between studies. CONCLUSIONS: There is a need to standardize study methods for data reporting to allow comparisons of results across studies and monitor changes in populations. These data can help design more adequate strategies for monitoring and promotion of physical activity.

Keywords : Adult; Aged; Motor Activity; Physical Exertion; Acceleration; Techniques, Measures, Measurement Equipment; Review.

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