Measuring Physical Activity

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  • Measuring PA & health
    • Doubly labelled water
      • Average metabolic rate of an organism measured over time
      • Metabolism derived from 02 taking into the body and C02 being expired out of the body
        • C02 is produced when energy is expended
      • Advantages: Gold standard measurement which provides estimation of TEE at any point, safe, easy to perform, easy sample storage andprovides estimation of TEE at any point, safe, easy to perform, easy  anaylsis
      • Disadvantages: no data for day 2 day changes, can be expensive and energy can expend on other functions.
    • Indirect Calorimetry
      • Calculates the heat produced by assessing the amount of C02 produced given the amount of 02 consumed.
      • Advantages: highly accurate measurement of metabolic rate- often use to calibrate other measurements like accelerometers; non-invasive and can be portable
      • Disadvantages: can be inaccurate due to loss of air, have to wear a gas collector mask, expensive, high participant burden; required trained technicians and difficult to perform this on children
    • Heart rate
      • Linear relationship with energy expenditure, can be estimated through regression equation
      • Advantages: cheap, can be used to give feedback, low respondent burden, suitable for most and gives a good measure of exertion.
      • Disadvantages: TEE can only be measures once vo2max has been established; problematic if participant is on medication; meters can be lost/broke; can be expensive within a big population size.
    • Pedometry
      • Can give direct information of how much steps have been performed at a certain point
      • Advantages: cheap; can be used for feedback and low respondent burden
      • Disadvantages: can measure non-induced movement; can artificially increase readings; battery life needs monitoring; can be lost/broken; participants can forget to put it on; expensive and does not directly link walking to PA
    • Accelrometry
      • All axis movement detector that can asses degree of movement acceleration as well as movement counts
      • Can assess sedentary behaviour and sleeping patterns
      • Jean-Louise et al. 2001: the most accurate measurement for both sleep and activity through the difference with ZCM is minimal
      • Advantages: records all movement; can give a fine grained profile; good measure of movement; not induced by unnatural movement; can give measurements of TEE
      • Disadvantages: people have to remember to use the,; people put their phones on tables so often not recording the data; accelerometers unlikely to be well calibrated; battery usage can be high leading to missing data if Ps not on top of this; ethicial issues related to ownership and sitribution of data

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