Determination of cut-off points for the Move4 accelerometer in children aged 8–13 years

Beck F, Marzi I, Eisenreich A, Seemüller S, Tristram C, Reimers AK (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 15

Article Number: 163

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1186/s13102-023-00775-4


Background: To assess physical activity (PA) there is a need of objective, valid and reliable measurement methods like accelerometers. Before these devices can be used for research, they need to be calibrated and validated for specific age groups as the locomotion differs between children and adults, for instance. Therefore, the aim of the present study was the calibration and validation of the Move4 accelerometer for children aged 8–13 years. Methods: 53 normal weighted children (52% boys, 48%girls) aged 8–13 years (mean age = 10.69 ± 1.46, mean BMI = 17.93 kg/m− 2, 60th percentile), wore the Move4 sensor at four different body positions (thigh, hip, wrist and the Move4ecg including heart rate measurement at the chest). They completed nine activities that considered the four activity levels (sedentary behavior (SB), light PA (LPA), moderate PA (MPA) and vigorous PA (VPA)) within a test-retest design. Intensity values were determined using the mean amplitude deviation (MAD) as well as the movement acceleration intensity (MAI) metrics. Determination of activities and energy expenditure was validated using heart rate. After that, cut-off points were determined in Matlab by using the Classification and Regression Trees (CART) method. The agreement for the cut-off points between T1 and T2 was analyzed. Results: MAD and MAI accelerometer values were lowest when children were lying on the floor and highest when running or doing jumping jacks. The mean correlation coefficient between acceleration values and heart rate was 0.595 (p = 0.01) for MAD metric and 0.611 (p = 0.01) for MAI metric, indicating strong correlations. Further, the MAD cut-off points for SB-LPA are 52.9 mg (hip), 62.4 mg (thigh), 86.4 mg (wrist) and 45.9 mg (chest), for LPA-MPA they are 173.3 mg (hip), 260.7 mg (thigh), 194.4 mg (wrist) and 155.7 mg (chest) and for MPA-VPA the cut-off points are 543.6 mg (hip), 674.5 mg (thigh), 623.4 mg (wrist) and 545.5 mg (chest). Test-retest comparison indicated good values (mean differences = 9.8%). Conclusion: This is the first study investigating cut-off points for children for four different sensor positions using raw accelerometer metrics (MAD/MAI). Sensitivity and specificity revealed good values for all positions. Nevertheless, depending on the sensor position, metric values differ according to the different involvement of the body in various activities. Thus, the sensor position should be carefully chosen depending on the research question of the study.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Beck, F., Marzi, I., Eisenreich, A., Seemüller, S., Tristram, C., & Reimers, A.K. (2023). Determination of cut-off points for the Move4 accelerometer in children aged 8–13 years. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, 15(1).


Beck, Franziska, et al. "Determination of cut-off points for the Move4 accelerometer in children aged 8–13 years." BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation 15.1 (2023).

BibTeX: Download