Utility of the RT3 triaxial accelerometer in free living: an investigation of adherence and data loss

Meredith A Perry, Paul A Hendrick, Leigh Hale, G David Baxter, Stephan Milosavljevic, Sarah G Dean, Suzanne McDonough, Deirdre A Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


There is strong evidence for the protective effects of physical activity on chronic health problems. Activity monitors can objectively measure free living occupational and leisure time physical activity. Utility is an important consideration when determining the most appropriate monitor for specific populations and environments. Hours of activity data collected, the reasons for activity hours not being recorded, and how these two factors might change over time when using an activity monitor in free living are rarely reported. This study investigated user perceptions, adherence to minimal wear time and loss of data when using the RT3 activity monitor in 21 healthy adults, in a variety of occupations, over three (7 day) repeated weeks of measurement in free living. An activity diary verified each day of monitoring and a utility questionnaire explored participant perceptions on the usability of the RT3. The RT3 was worn for an average of 14 h daily with 90% of participants having complete data sets. In total 6535.8 and 6092.5h of activity data were collected from the activity diary and the RT3 respectively. An estimated 443.3h (6.7%) of activity data were not recorded by the RT3. Data loss was primarily due to battery malfunction (45.2%). Non-adherence to wear time accounted for 169.5h (38.2%) of data loss, of which 14 h were due to occupational factors. The RT3 demonstrates good utility for free living activity measurement, however, technical issues and strategies to manage participant adherence require consideration with longitudinal and repeated measures studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-476
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - May 2010


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