As physical activity researchers are increasingly using objective portable devices, this review describes current state of the technology to assess physical activity, with a focus on specific sensors and sensor properties currently used in monitors and their strengths and weakness. Additional sensors and sensor properties desirable for activity measurement and best practices for users and developers also are discussed.


NOTE: The Bodymedia Sensewear Armband has been discontinued since the sale of Bodymedia to the consumer company ‘Jawbone’ in 2013. Jawbone subsequently went into liquidation in 2017 and all product support was discontinued. This illustrates the danger of choosing consumer focussed products for scientific research. Our professional, research grade Actiheart device has been available since 2003 and has hundreds of peer-reviewed publications.

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Journal: Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2012 Jan;44(1 Suppl 1):S13

Keywords: energy expenditure, Physical Activity, sensewear,

Applications: Energy Expenditure,

CamNtech Reference: AH12022

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