Accelerometry data in health research: Challenges and opportunities

Marta Karas, Jiawei Bai, Marcin Strączkiewicz, Jaroslaw Harezlak, Nancy W. Glynn, Tamara Harris, Vadim Zipunnikov, Ciprian Crainiceanu, Jacek K. Urbanek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wearable accelerometers provide detailed, objective, and continu-ous measurements of physical activity (PA). Recent advances in technology and the decreasing cost of wearable devices led to an explosion in the popula-rity of wearable technology in health research. An ever increasing number of studies collect high-throughput, sub-second level raw acceleration data. In this paper we discuss problems related to the collection and analysis of raw acce-lerometry data and provide insights into potential solutions. In particular, we describe the size and complexity of the data, the within- and between-subject variability and the effects of sensor location on the body. We also provide a short tutorial for dealing with sampling frequency, device calibration, data labeling and multiple PA monitors synchronization. We illustrate these po-ints using the Developmental Epidemiological Cohort Study (DECOS), which collected raw accelerometry data on individuals both in a controlled and the free-living environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Mar 5 2018


  • Accelerometers
  • Accelerometry
  • Physical activity
  • Wearable accelerometers
  • Wearable computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Accelerometry data in health research: Challenges and opportunities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this