Energy expenditure estimates of the Caltrac accelerometer for running, race walking, and stepping

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35 Scopus citations


Objective - To examine the accuracy of the Caltrac accelerometer for estimating energy expenditure (EE) during three exercise modes. Methods - A subset of 31 women (mean (SEM) age 22.6 (5) years) was selected from a training study comparing various physiological parameters during race walking, running, and stepping. Subjects each performed mode specific graded exercise tests to peak Vo2. Regression equations for Vo2 v heart rate (HR) were generated from each individual's test data. EE (kcal and kJ) was estimated for each Vo2 value based on the respiratory exchange ratio, and kcal v HR regression equations were generated to predict EE from each subject's HR data (EE-HR). HR in the field was monitored by telemetry, and two Caltrac monitors, one set for EE and one to give counts, were attached to a belt over opposite hips. Results - EE-HR was not significantly different across exercise modes. Caltrac overestimated EE (P < 0.01) in runners (14%) and walkers (19%) but underestimated EE in steppers by about 10% (P = 0.12). Conclusions - The Caltrac is a reliable instrument but it did not accurately distinguish EE in running, race walking, or stepping in a group of young women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-239
Number of pages5
JournalBritish journal of sports medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Energy cost
  • Exercise
  • Stride frequency
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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