Defining ambulatory bouts in free-living activity: Impact of brief stationary periods on walking bout metrics

Gillian Barry, Brook Galna, Sue Lord, Lynn Rochester, Alan Godfrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to assess the effect of varying the maximum resting period between consecutive ambulatory bouts in community-based outcomes. Ambulation was assessed in 97 community-dwelling older adults (mean (SD) age 69.2 (7.7) years) using an accelerometer (activPAL™) worn on the upper thigh for 7 consecutive days. The volume, pattern and variability of ambulation were calculated over a range of maximum resting periods (1–30 s). Outcomes with a maximum resting period from 1 to 6 s did not vary due to device functionality. Non-linear regression (power law, r2 > 0.99) showed that increasing the maximum resting period from 6 to 30 s resulted in changes in volume (increased duration spent walking, and decreased number of bouts), variability (S2 increased) and pattern (α decreased), and a linear relationship with an increase in average bout length. With a MRP of 6s, 6% of the cohort achieved the public health guidelines of 150 min of ambulation/week accumulated in bouts ≥10 min, which increased to 40% using a maximum resting period of 30 s. Modifying the maximum resting period impacts on volume, pattern and variability measures of community based ambulation, and attainment of public health guidelines. This highlights the need for standardised algorithms to aid interpretation and explicit reporting of the maximum resting period to aid comparison between studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-597
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015
EventInternational Society for Posture & Gait Research Conference (ISPGR) - Seville, Spain
Duration: 1 Oct 2015 → …


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