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International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings, Vol: 8, Issue: 2, Page: 40

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Henry, S.; Phillips, S.; Papadopoulos, C.
Exercise Physiology; Kinesiology
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COMPARISON OF DIFFERENT ACCELEROMETER CUT POINTS FOR OLDER ADULTSS. Henry, S. Phillips, and C. PapadopoulosPacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WAAccelerometers offer detailed minute-by-minute information over extended periods pertaining to physical activity behavior. This information can be used to provide estimates of time spent in different levels of physical activity intensities and overall patterns of physical activity. According to accelerometer data, less than 5% of older adults meet physical activity guidelines making them the least active age group. However, accelerometer cut points to quantify exercise intensity for older adults have been established from research in college-age individuals. Therefore, further examination is needed to determine the most accurate cut-points for physical activity intensity measured by accelerometers for older adults. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to more accurately determine the duration of time spent in certain intensities of physical activity when using different accelerometer cut points for an older adult population. METHODS: Forty-two older adults (age: 71.1 ± 20.1 yrs., weight: 70.8 ± 20.0 kg) who participated in exercise classes wore an accelerometer around the waist above the right hip. Accelerometer data were downloaded using 15 second epochs and low frequency extension. In order to quantify exercise intensity, traditional cut points (cpm) of sedentary (≤ 100 cpm), light (101-1952 cpm), and moderate (1952-5724) were used. In addition lower threshold cut points from prior research data in our laboratory (sedentary ≤ 100, light 101-799, and moderate 800 and higher cpm) were applied. Independent t test was used to compare the exercise intensities using the different cut points. Significance was set at p < 0.05. RESULTS: Traditional accelerometer cut points revealed a mean of 31.0 ± 8.3 minutes in sedentary time, 24.3 ± 8.0 minutes in light and 5.2 ± 6.5 minutes in moderate intensity activities. The modified cut points indicated that the participants engaged in 17.1 ± 5.8 minutes of light and 12.3 ± 8.8 minutes of moderate intensity activities. There was a significant difference in minutes participating in light and moderate exercise intensity between the different count thresholds. Furthermore, the majority of the participants (91%) perceived the intensity as moderate. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that using modified cut points for older adults may more closely approximate actual activity level compared to perceived exertion, but further research is warranted.