The team, led by Kate Westgate, oversees the management of specialist physical activity measurement equipment and the data that is collected. The key responsibilities are to ensure safe practice and the collection and processing of high quality data relating to lab-based and free-living physical activity and energy expenditure measurements. This is achieved by:
- Overseeing training and operations by liaising with field staff, other members of the Research Support teams, scientists, suppliers and technicians.
- Holding quality control workshops and quality assurance checks to ensure that the data collected is of high quality.
- Ensuring Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and documentation exist for all areas of measurement and data processing, so that data is collected and handled consistently according to good clinical practice (GCP) guidelines.
- Processing and cleaning large quantities of objective data from different types of monitors (accelerometers as well as combined heart rate and movement sensors) as well as data from subjective sources enabling quality data sets to be produced for further analysis within the Unit or for its collaborative projects.
In addition to offering technical support, cleaning and data processing, the team provides input throughout the stages of a study, including methodology, and advice on interpretation. This applies to both internal projects and a large number of collaborative projects with external partners. The team keeps up to date with current technologies and evaluates new technologies as they become available as potential alternative methods of physical activity measurement. In addition to implementing established methods, the team works alongside the Physical Activity Epidemiology programme and contributes to the development and evaluation of novel methods.