Estimation of physical activity intensity cut-points using accelerometry in breast cancer survivors and age-matched controls

Linda Trinh, Robert W. Motl, Sarah A. Roberts, Trisha Gibbons, Edward McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To examine the association between accelerometer activity counts and energy expenditure during walking in breast cancer survivors (BCS) compared with age-matched healthy controls, and differences in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) cut-points. Methods: Using a case–control design, 19 BCS and 19 age-matched women completed 6 min of resting energy expenditure and 6-min periods of treadmill walking in Midwestern United States. Accelerometers and an open-circuit spirometry system were used to measure activity counts and energy expenditure (VO2). A mixed-factor analysis of variance was conducted on activity counts and VO2. Independent samples t tests compared the magnitude of associations between groups. Results: There were group by speed interactions on energy expenditure (p < 0.001) and counts (p < 0.001). The linear association did not differ between BCS and controls for the R2 (p = 0.62) nor the slope (p = 0.43), but there was a difference in the intercept (p = 0.01). This resulted in different MVPA cut-points between groups: 1,439 ± 761 counts·min−1 in BCS and 1,937 ± 639 counts·min−1 in controls. Conclusion: The findings support the use of different cut-points to quantify time spent in MVPA for BCS. Application of these cut-points is warranted to accurately assess physical activity (PA) patterns for better prescription and health outcomes in PA programmes for BCS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13090
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019



  • accelerometer
  • breast cancer
  • cut-points
  • energy expenditure
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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