The present study estimated the long-term reproducibility of accelerometer-based measures over 6-months in adults and the implications for statistical power, and attenuation in regression coefficients for future activity-disease studies.
We used data from 914 adults in the Interactive Diet and Activity Tracking in AARP (IDATA) study. Participants wore an ActivPAL 3 (AP) and an ActiGraph GT3X (AG) twice, 6 months apart. AP measures included: time spent sitting or lying, standing, and stepping
; while AG measures included: time spent in sedentary
, light, and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Reproducibility of each metric and implications for epidemiological studies was determined based on Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICCs; 95% CI).
The ICCs for AP estimates were, 0.58 (95% CI: 0.53, 0.63) for sitting, 0.62 (0.57, 0.67) for standing, and 0.57 (0.51, 0.62) for stepping
. ICCs for AG were 0.56 (0.50, 0.61) for sedentary
, 0.54 (0.49, 0.60) for light PA, and 0.58 (0.52, 0.63) for MVPA. Modelling showed that increasing the number of replicate administrations to 2-3 resulted in the most noticeable increases in ICCs, statistical power, and reductions in attenuation coefficients. For example, administering the AP twice reduced within-subject variability by half and resulted in an increase in the ICC associated with sitting time from 0.58 to 0.74. Similar comparisons for AG and measure of sedentary
time resulted in an increase in ICCs from 0.56 to 0.72. Increasing the number of replicate administrations from one to two reduced the attenuation in activity-outcome associations from 40% to 25%.
Accelerometer-based classifications of activity are moderately stable over time but there is considerable within-subject variability that needs to be considered when estimating usual activity in future studies.