Research Tracker 6 accelerometer calibration and validation in comparison to GENEActiv, ActiGraph, and gas analysis in young adults

Emma Eyre, Jason Tallis, Susie Wilson, Lee Wilde, Liam Akhurst, Rildo de Souza Junior Wanderley, Michael Duncan

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Background: The ability to objectively assess physical activity and inactivity in free living individuals is important in understanding activity patterns and the dose response relationship with health. Currently, a large number of research tools exist, but little evidence has examined the validity/utility of the Research Tracker 6 (RT6) monitor. Questions remain in regard to the best placements, positions and cut points in young adults to determine activity intensity, across a range of activities. This study sought to address this gap in young adults. The study aims were: 1) To examine criterion validity of RT6 in comparison to breath by breath gas analysis; 2) Convergent validity of RT6 in comparison to ActiGraph and GENEActiv; 3) Development of RT6 tri-axial vector magnitude cut points to classify physical activity at different intensities (i.e. for sedentary, moderate and vigorous); 4) To compare the generated cut-points of the RT6 in comparison to other tools.Methods: Following ethics approval and informed consent, 31 young adults (Age =22±3years: BMI=23±3kg/m2) undertook 5 modes of physical activity/sedentary behaviours whilst wearing three different accelerometers at hip and wrist locations (ActiGraph GT9X Link, GENEActiv, Research Tracker 6). Expired gas was sampled during the 5 activities (MetaMax 3B). Correlational analysis assessed the relationship between accelerometer devices and METs/VO2. Receiver Operating Characteristic Curves analysis were used to calculate area under the curve and define cut points for physical activity intensities. Results: Research Tracker 6 demonstrated criterion and convergent validity (r range=0.662 to 0.966, P<0.05). The Research Tracker 6 generally performed good to excellent across activity intensities and monitor position (Sedentary (AUC=0.862, 0.911), moderate (AUC=0.849, 0.830) vigorous (AUC=0.872, 0.877) for non-dominant and dominant position respectively. Cut points were derived across activity intensities for non-dominant and dominant worn Research Tracker 6 devices. Comparison of the RT6 derived cut points identified appropriate agreement with comparative tools but yields the strongest agreement with the ActiGraph monitor at the hip location during sedentary, light and moderate activity. Conclusion: The Research Tracker 6 performed similar to the, ActiGraph and GENEActiv and is capable of classifying the intensity of physical activity in young adults. As such this may offer a more useable tool for understanding current physical activity levels and in intervention studies to monitor and track changes without the excessive need for downloading and making complex analysis, especially given the option to view energy expenditure data whilst wearing it. The Research Tracker 6 should be placed on the dominant hip when determining activities that is sedentary, moderate intensity or vigorous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-187
Number of pages12
JournalJournal for the Measurement of Physical Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from Human Kinetics, 2019, volume 2, issue 3, 176-187, © Human Kinetics, Inc.

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • activity monitor
  • adulthood
  • calorimetry
  • cut-points
  • measurement
  • METs
  • physical activity
  • validity


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