Calibration and validation of the ActiGraph GT3X+ in 2-3 year olds.

Publication authors

Costa S, Barber SE, Cameron N, Clemes SA.



To calibrate and validate the ActiGraph GT3X+ to measure sedentary behaviour and physical activity in 2-3 year olds, using 5-s epochs; and to compare the predictive validity of the resulting cut-points with that of NHANES’, Trost’s, and Pate’s 15-s cut-points.


Cross-sectional study.


Eighteen children (2.86 ± 0.60 years) wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ during video-recorded semi-structured calibration activity sessions. Activity was coded following Children’s Activity Rating Scale. Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis was used to derive Axis1 and vector magnitude cut-points for sedentary behaviour and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at 5-s epochs. Agreement with Children’s Activity Rating Scale was assessed with Cohen’s kappa, Lin’s concordance, and Bland-Altman plots. Predictive validity of all cut-points was assessed in an independent sample of 20 children (2.99 ± 0.48 years) video-recorded during free-play, using the same procedures as the calibration phase.


During calibration, vector magnitude cut-points (sedentary behaviour ≤ 96.12 counts; moderate-to-vigorous physical activity ≥ 361.94 counts) showed slightly better classification agreement with Children’s Activity Rating Scale than Axis1 cut-points (sedentary behaviour ≤ 5 counts; moderate-to-vigorous physical activity ≥ 165 counts), but the latter showed the lowest bias in estimated sedentary behaviour and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity time. In the validation sample, 5-s Axis1 cut-points showed the best predictive validity and lowest mean differences of all cut-points between predicted and observed sedentary behaviour (-2.31%), light physical activity (-24.40%), and total physical activity time (-0.95%). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity time was significantly overestimated by all cut-points (128.33-184.17%).


Because moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was highly overestimated, using only the 5-s Axis1 sedentary behaviour cut-point to distinguish sedentary behaviour from total physical activity is advised. The high accuracy indicates that these cut-points are useful for epidemiological studies involving the sedentary behaviour and physical activity of 2-3 year olds.