WS 2.3 Telling the story of active travel across the life span using body-worn accelerometer data

Workshop provider(s)

M.H. Granat*1, K. Lyden2, D.J. Maxwell2
1University of Salford, UK, 2PAL Technologies Ltd, UK

Workshop description

Active travel to work or school, both for complete journeys and for travel to and from public transport stops, has been shown to contribute to increased physical activity (PA). Body-worn accelerometers have been used to objectively quantify both steps and time in moderate and vigorous physical activities (MVPA) in free-living populations. However, accelerometers are typically poor at detecting cycling activities (an important contributor to active travel) and can generate spurious activity counts from vehicle travel. We need to understand the relative contributions of these common modes of travel to inform the interventions we develop to promote healthier travel choices to school and work. The goal of this workshop is to demonstrate how we can derive detailed information on active travel (walking and cycling) and car and other transportation, from body-worn accelerometers and how we can quantify the role active travel plays in overall levels of PA across the life span. Using data drawn from different populations, participants will learn how the activities of cycling and car travel, in addition to stepping, can be derived from body-worn accelerometer data and how the analysis of the volumes and patterns of these activities can be used to determine the impact of active travel on daily physical activity. Participants will be divided into groups and given data sets from populations who use different modes of transport in their commute to work and school. Each group will analyse the data and produce summary outcomes on the volumes and patterns of these activities. This will be used to describe the "active travel story". A discussion will focus on what additional information the classification of cycling, car and other transport might provide and the contribution of the mode of travel to the accumulation of PA and its intensity. The workshop will end with a description of how we can integrate this approach into a model of Physical Behaviour.

Learning Objectives

1. Attendees will recognize how data derived from body-worn accelerometer sensors can be used to answer specific research questions and understand the methodological advantages and limitations of them in order to develop valid experimental procedures.
2. Attendees will be able to construct context rich models of Physical Behaviour, which include cycling and car travel.
3. Using event-based analysis of accelerometer, attendees will understand how to construct contextually rich data sets relevant to transportation and health interests.

Interactive Features

Structured discussion on the importance of active travel in meeting PA guidelines. Group led analysis of sample data to show how we can derive contextual information about cycling and car travel from accelerometer data. Group working to interpret data from different populations. The groups will produce "active travel stories" from these sample data sets.

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