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Validation of the physical activity index (PAI) as a measure of total activity load and total kilocalorie expenditure during submaximal treadmill walking

Weary-Smith, Kimberly Anne (2007) Validation of the physical activity index (PAI) as a measure of total activity load and total kilocalorie expenditure during submaximal treadmill walking. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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PURPOSE: The primary purposes of this investigation were to examine the validity of the Physical Activity Index (PAI) as, (a) a measure of total activity load (intensity of exercise x volume of exercise) and (b) as an estimate of total kilocalorie (kcal) expenditure during submaximal treadmill walking. A secondary purpose was to compare estimated kcal expenditure determined by the PAI prediction model to the estimated kcal expenditure determined by the SenseWear Pro Armband™. METHODS: Thirty-two recreationally active females (20.36 ± 1.27 years) participated in this study. Subjects participated in three counterbalanced submaximal walking bouts: low intensity (4.02 km⋅hr⁻¹, 0% grade), moderate intensity (5.63 km⋅hr⁻¹, 2.5% grade), and high intensity (7.24 km⋅hr⁻¹, 5% grade). Each bout was separated by five min of rest. During each of the three exercise bouts, oxygen consumption (VO₂), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), pedometer step count, and kcal expenditure were measured. The PAI was calculated as the product of RPE and pedometer step count for each of the three, 10 minute bouts of treadmill walking. RESULTS: Concurrent validation of the PAI was established using VO₂ and heart rate (HR) as the criterion variables. Multiple regression analyses revealed a strong, positive relation between PAI score and VO₂ (r = 0.92) and HR (r = 0.84). Data were then used to develop a statistical model to estimate kcal expenditure using the PAI score as the predictor variable. Walking kcal expenditure predicted by Model III was highly correlated with measured kcal expenditure (r = 0.85). Similarly, kcal expenditure estimated by the SenseWear Pro Armband™ evidenced a strong, positive correlation with measured kcal expenditure (r = 0.83) when calculated across the three walking intensities. CONCLUSION: The development of a PAI using RPE and pedometer step count to estimate kcal expenditure may have significant public health implications. The PAI was found to be more accurate then the Armband method of estimating kcal expenditure and is a simple, unobtrusive and inexpensive tool which may be used to assess kcal expenditure in public health, clinical, and/or rehabilitation settings.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Weary-Smith, Kimberly
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRobertson, Robert J
Committee MemberAaron, Deborah J
Committee MemberNagle, Elizabeth F
Committee MemberGoss, Fredric L
Committee MemberKim, Kevin H
Date: 27 September 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 1 August 2007
Approval Date: 27 September 2007
Submission Date: 31 July 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health, Physical, Recreational Education
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: armband; kcal expenditure; pedometer; physical activity; rating of perceived exertion
Other ID:, etd-07312007-125029
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:55
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:47


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