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Motion sensor output
Children and adolescents
Treadmill walking and running
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Chia, M., Wong, P., Balasekaran, G., Tan, S. K., Canagasabai, K., & Chiang, J. (2009). Motion sensor outputs of children and adolescents walking and running to three treadmill speeds. Sport Science, 2(2), 27-35.
The study examined the motion sensor outputs of Singaporean children and adolescents of both sexes
to walking and running on a motorized treadmill (Quinton Series 90) under controlled laboratory
conditions. 58 youths of normal body mass (N=58, age: 13.2±3.0 y; height: 1.53±0.02 m; body mass:
45.5±14.2 kg; BMI: 18.8± 3.0 kg/m2; Tanner rating: 2.5±1.3) were recruited for the study.
Accelerometer (ActiGraph GT 1 M) activity (ActiCounts in counts/min) and step rate (ActiSteps in
steps/min) and pedometer (Omron HJ 005-E) step rate (PedoSteps in steps/min), oxygen uptake (in
ml/kg/min) and heart rate (in bpm) were obtained from 5-minutes stages of 0 % gradient of treadmill
walking at 4 km/hr and running at 6 km/hr and 8 km/hr. Walking at 4 km/hr was estimated at 4.0-6.0
METs, whilst running at 6 km/hr and 8 km/hr was estimated at 6.3-8.6 and 10.0-11.4 METs,
respectively. Motion sensor outputs increased significantly with treadmill speeds (76-101 % for
ActiCounts; 22-24 % for ActiSteps and18-25 % for PedoSteps, all p<0.01) as did oxygen uptake (48-
55 %) and heart rate (27-28 %) but there was no sex difference in activity or step rate or physiological
responses (p>0.01). No meaningful relationships were obtained between accelerometer activity rate
and oxygen uptake or heart rate. There was acceptable agreement between accelerometer and
pedometer step rate for the walking and running on the treadmill but the difference between
accelerometer and pedometer step rate was smallest at a treadmill running speed of 6 km/hr. These
results show that accelerometer and pedometer step rates are useful and suitable measurements of
physical activity involving walking and running among Singaporean children and adolescents of normal
body mass. Further investigations are necessary to fully exploit the use of accelerometer data in
physical activity research among young people.
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