Normative wrist-worn accelerometer values for self-paced walking and running: a walk in the park

Nathan Dawkins, Tom Yates, Artur Soczawa-Stronczyk, Mateusz Bocian, Charlotte Edwardson, Ben Maylor, Melanie Davies, Kamlesh Khunti, Alex Rowlands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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This study aimed to a) determine whether wrist acceleration varies by accelerometer brand, wear location, and age for self-paced “slow”, “normal” and “brisk” walking; b) develop normative acceleration values for self-paced walking and running for adults. One-hundred-and-three adults (40–79 years) completed self-paced “slow”, “normal” and “brisk” walks, while wearing three accelerometers (GENEActiv, Axivity, ActiGraph) on each wrist. A sub-sample (n = 22) completed a self-paced run. Generalized estimating equations established differences by accelerometer brand, wrist, and age-group (walking only, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70–79 years) for self-paced walking and running. Brand*wrist interactions showed ActiGraph dominant wrist values were ~10% lower than GENEActiv/Axivity values for walking and running, and non-dominant ActiGraph values were ~5% lower for running only (p < 0.001). Acceleration during brisk walking was lower in those aged 70–79 (p < 0.05). Normative acceleration values (non-dominant wrist, all brands; dominant wrist GENEActiv/Axivity) for slow and normal walking were 140 mg and 210 mg. Brisk walking, values were 350 mg in those aged 40–69 years, but 270 mg in those aged 70–79 years. Accelerations >600 mg approximated running. These values facilitate user-friendly interpretation of accelerometer-determined physical activity in large cohort and epidemiological datasets.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Early online date20 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Physical activity
  • accelerometer
  • activity monitors
  • device measured


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