Research Study Abstract

Accuracy of the ActiGraph wGT3x-BT for step counting during inpatient spinal cord rehabilitation

  • Published on February 8, 2019

(1) Assess the accuracy of the ActiGraph wGT3x-BT accelerometer to count steps taken by inpatients with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI) in physical therapy (PT) sessions and self-directed activities, and (2) compare the number of steps/min taken in PT sessions to that in self-directed activities during inpatient rehabilitation.

Inpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation.

Seventeen individuals with subacute motor iSCI were observed for up to 45-min of both PT and self-directed activities, during which steps were simultaneously tracked by the ActiGraph wGT3x-BT and a researcher using a hand tally counter. Accuracy was evaluated with an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for the entire PT session and self-directed activities, as well as for periods of walking.

There was excellent agreement between the ActiGraph wGT3x-BT and manually counted steps for entire PT sessions (ICC = 0.86) and walking periods (PT walking, ICC = 0.99; self-directed walking, ICC = 0.99). There was poor agreement for entire self-directed sessions (ICC = 0.15). Visual analysis of Bland–Altman plots supported these findings. Participants took more steps/min in PT sessions compared to self-directed activities (p = 0.023).

The ActiGraph wGT3x-BT accurately counts steps during PT sessions and walking periods in individuals with subacute motor iSCI. Clinically, this may enable physical therapists to track walking repetitions during inpatient rehabilitation more effortlessly.


  • Erin Albaum 1,2
  • Emily Quinn 1,2
  • Saba Sedaghatkish 1,2
  • Parminder Singh 1,2
  • Amber Watkins 1,2
  • Kristin Musselman 1,2
  • Josh Williams 1,2


  • 1

    Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

  • 2

    Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada


Spinal Cord


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