Physical activity characterization: Does one site fit all?

C. C. T. Clark, Glauber Carvalho Nobre, John Fernandes, Jason Moran, Ben Drury, Andrea Mannini, Piotr Gronek, Robert Podstawski

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND It is evident that a growing number of studies advocate a wrist-worn accelerometer for the assessment of patterns of physical activity a priori; yet, the veracity of this site over any other body-mounted location for its accuracy in activity classification is hither to unexplored.  
OBJECTIVE The objective of this review was to identify the relative accuracy for classifying physical activities according to accelerometer site and analytical technique. 
 METHODS A search of electronic databases was conducted using Web of Science, PubMed and Google Scholar. This review included studies written in the English language, published between database inception and December 2017, which characterised physical activities, using a single-accelerometer and reported technique accuracy. 
 RESULTS A total of 118 articles were initially retrieved. After duplicates were removed and remaining articles screened, 32 full-text articles were reviewed, resulting in the inclusion of 19 articles that met the eligibility criteria. 
CONCLUSION There is no 'one site fits all' approach to the selection of accelerometer site location or analytical technique. Research design and focus should always inform the most suitable location of attachment, and should be driven by the type of activity being characterised
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Early online date16 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2018


  • accelerometer
  • classification
  • human movement
  • physical activity
  • position
  • recognition


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