Accuracy of a piezoelectric pedometer in persons with and without Down syndrome

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Issue Date
2016-12
Authors
Agiovlasitis, Stamatis
Beets, Michael W.
Lamberth, John
Pitetti, Kenneth H.
Fernhall, Bo
Advisor
Citation

Agiovlasitis, Stamatis; Beets, Michael W.; Lamberth, John; Pitetti, Kenneth H.; Fernhall, Bo. 2016. Accuracy of a piezoelectric pedometer in persons with and without Down syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol. 59, December 2016:pp 73–79

Abstract

Background: Piezoelectric pedometers with a tri-axial accelerometer mechanism may effectively monitor physical activity in persons with Down syndrome (DS), but their accuracy has not been determined in this population.

Aim: To examine the accuracy of a pedometer with a tri-axial accelerometer mechanism in measuring steps at different walking speeds in persons with and without DS.

Methods: Eighteen persons with DS (8 women; age 25 +/- 7 y) and 22 persons without DS (9 women; 26 5 y) participated in this study. Participants completed six over-ground walking trials at the preferred speed and at 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, and 1.5 ms(-1), each lasting 6 min. The steps taken were measured with hand-tally and with the Walk4Life MVPa piezoelectric pedometer. Pedometer accuracy was assessed with absolute percent error and Bland-Altman plots.

Results: Absolute percent error did not differ between persons with and without DS across speeds. Error decreased with increased speed (p < 0.001), but leveled off at >= 1.0 m s(-1). Pedometers underestimated steps at 0.5 and 0.75 ms(-1), but were highly accurate at the preferred walking speed and at speeds >= 1.0 m s(-1).

Conclusions: A piezoelectric pedometer with a tri-axial accelerometer mechanism measures steps with high accuracy at the preferred walking speed and at speeds >= 1.0 m s(-1) in persons with and without DS. Accuracy, however, is compromised at slower speeds. Across speeds, pedometer error is similar between persons with and without DS.

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