Research Study Abstract

How many days are needed to estimate wrist-worn accelerometry-assessed physical activity during the second trimester in pregnancy?

  • Published on June 27, 2019

Objective methods to measure physical activity (PA) can lead to better cross-cultural comparisons, monitoring temporal PA trends, and measuring the effect of interventions. However, when applying this technology in field-work, the accelerometer data processing is prone to methodological issues. One of the most challenging issues relates to standardizing total wear time to provide reliable data across participants. It is generally accepted that at least 4 complete days of accelerometer wear represent a week for adults. It is not known if this same assumption holds true for pregnant women.

We assessed the optimal number of days needed to obtain reliable estimates of overall PA and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during the 2nd trimester in pregnancy using a raw triaxial wrist-worn accelerometer.

Cross-sectional analyses were carried out in the antenatal wave of the 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study. Participants wore the wrist ActiGraph wGT3X-BT accelerometer for seven consecutive days. The daily average acceleration, which indicated overall PA, was measured as milli-g (mg), and time spent in MVPA (minutes/day) was analyzed in 5-minute bouts. ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare variability across days of the week. Bland-Altman plots and the Spearman-Brown Prophecy Formula were applied to determine the reliability coefficient associated with one to seven days of measurement.

Among 2,082 pregnant women who wore the accelerometer for seven complete days, overall and MVPA were lower on Sundays compared to other days of the week. Reliability of > = 0.80 to evaluate overall PA was reached with at least three monitoring days, whereas seven days were needed to estimate reliable measures of MVPA.

Our findings indicate that obtaining one week of accelerometry in adults is appropriate for pregnant women, particularly to obtain differences on weekend days and reliably estimate overall PA and MVPA.


  • Shana Ginar da Silva 1,2
  • Kelly R. Evenson 3
  • Ulf Ekelund 4
  • Inácio Crochemore Mohsam da Silva 1,5
  • Marlos Rodrigues Domingues 5
  • Bruna Gonçalves Cordeiro da Silva 1
  • Márcio de Almeida Mendes 1
  • Gloria Isabel Niño Cruz 1
  • Pedro Curi Hallal 1


  • 1

    PostGraduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

  • 2

    Medical School, Federal University of Fronteira Sul–Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil

  • 3

    Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America

  • 4

    Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway

  • 5

    PostGraduate Program in Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil



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