Differences between accelerometer cut point methods among midlife women with cardiovascular risk markers

Danielle Arigo, Jacqueline A. Mogle, Megan M. Brown, Savannah R. Roberts, Kristen Pasko, Meghan L. Butryn, Danielle Symons Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective:Midlife women experience elevated risk for cardiovascular disease and often receive advice to increase physical activity to mitigate this risk. Use of accelerometers to measure ambulatory physical activity requires selection of appropriate thresholds for estimating moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and choice of cut points may lead to meaningfully different conclusions about midlife women's physical activity (PA) engagement. This is particularly important given the recent elimination of 10-minute bout requirements for MVPA. This two-phase study examined differences between four cut point methods among midlife women with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We used findings from Study 1 (exploratory) to generate hypotheses for Study 2 (confirmatory).Methods:Across studies, participants (N = 65) were midlife women with an additional CVD risk factor (eg, hypertension). Participants wore waistband accelerometers for seven days. Daily totals were calculated for minutes in light and MVPA using four common quantification methods (Freedson, Matthews, Swartz, and Troiano).Results:Multilevel models showed meaningful differences between methods (P < 0.0001). For total (non-bouted) minutes of MVPA, Freedson and Troiano methods showed that participants barely met MVPA recommendations (30 min per day), whereas Matthews and Swartz methods showed that participants greatly exceeded this goal. As differences between methods were smaller using MVPA bouts of 10 minutes or more (though remained significant), the observed variation was due in part to small bursts of MVPA dispersed throughout the day.Conclusions:Findings demonstrate the need for careful consideration of PA quantification among midlife women with CVD risk, and for further investigation to determine the most appropriate quantification method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-567
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 10 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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