Objective measurement of habitual sedentary behavior in pre-school children

Anne Martin, Mhairi McNeill, Victoria Penpraze, Philippa Dall, Malcolm Granat, James Y. Paton, John J. Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The Actigraph is well established for measurement of both physical activity and sedentary behavior in children. The activPAL is being used increasingly in children, though with no published evidence on its use in free-living children to date. The present study compared the two monitors in preschool children. Children (n 23) wore both monitors simultaneously during waking hours for 5.6d and 10h/d. Daily mean percentage of time sedentary (nontranslocation of the trunk) was 74.6 (SD 6.8) for the Actigraph and 78.9 (SD 4.3) for activPAL. Daily mean percentage of time physically active (light intensity physical activity plus MVPA) was 25.4 (SD 6.8) for the Actigraph and 21.1 (SD 4.3) for the activPAL. Bland-Altman tests and paired t tests suggested small but statistically significant differences between the two monitors. Actigraph and activPAL estimates of sedentary behavior and physical activity in young children are similar at a group level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-476
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2011


  • child, preschool
  • female
  • health behavior
  • humans
  • male
  • monitoring, ambulatory
  • motor activity
  • sedentary lifestyle


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