Free-living cross-comparison of two wearable monitors for sleep and physical activity in healthy young adults

Nicola Cellini, Elizabeth A. McDevitt, Sara C. Mednick, Matthew Buman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


There is a growing need for free-living monitoring of the full 24 h spectrum of behaviors with a single or integrated set of sensors. The validity of field standard wearable monitors in sleep and physical activity have yet to be assessed for the complementary behavior in the context of 24 h continuous monitoring. We conducted a free-living comparison study of the Actigraph GT3X+ (GT3X+) to assess sleep parameters as compared with the Actiwatch-64 (AW-64) and concurrently, the AW-64 to assess sedentary and physical activity behaviors as compared with the GT3X+. Thirty young adults (15 female, 19.2 ± 0.86 years) wore both monitors for 3 consecutive days and 2 consecutive nights. Agreement of sleep, sedentary, and physical activity metrics were evaluated using analyses of variance, intraclass correlation coefficients, Bland-Altman plots with associated confidence limits, mean absolute percentage of errors and equivalence tests. For sleep, the GT3X+ showed high agreement for total sleep time and sleep efficiency, but underestimated wakefulness after sleep onset and sleep onset latency relative to the AW-64. For sedentary behavior and physical activity, the AW-64 showed a moderate agreement for activity energy expenditure, but not for sedentary, light or moderate-vigorous physical activities relative to the GT3X+. Overall our results showed good agreement of the GT3X+ with AW-64 for assessing sleep but a lack of agreement between AW-64 and GT3X+ for physical activity and sedentary behaviors. These results are likely due to the monitor placement (wrist vs hip), as well as the algorithm employed to score the data. Future validation work of existing and emerging technologies that may hold promise for 24 h continuous monitoring is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Actigraphy
  • Activity energy expenditure
  • Bland-Altman
  • Free-living environment
  • Health behaviors
  • Sleep-wake pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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