Providing expertise on measuring free-living physical activity and sedentary behaviour
Team leads and contacts
- Technical Lead: Kate Westgate, Physical Activity Specialist. Kate.Westgate@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk
- Science Lead: Kirsten Rennie, Senior Research Associate. Kirsten.Rennie@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk
The Physical Activity Measurement team work across projects throughout the study lifecycle, providing expertise on measuring free-living physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour, and method development for large-scale use of physical activity measures in public health and clinical populations.
We work on projects within the University of Cambridge and a large number of collaborative projects with external partners globally. The Measurement team also works closely with technology innovators in the development of new instruments and applications for wide-scale implementation.
Measurement methods include:
- Waveform accelerometry
- Heart rate monitoring
- Combined devices (e.g. heart rate and accelerometry)
- Energy expenditure and cardiorespiratory fitness (in laboratory and field settings)
- Self-reported measurements of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep across the age range.
The team contributes to the Diet, Anthropometry and Physical Activity (DAPA) Measurement Toolkit – www.measurement-toolkit.org
The team also organises the Physical Activity Measurement Seminar; a biennial training seminar run in collaboration with the Physical Activity Epidemiology Programme.
- Protocol input. Advising on physical activity measurement instrument for study objectives and settings, protocol design, ethical considerations, participant information sheets, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and data output methods.
- Field implementation. Development of documentation, sourcing of measurement instruments, training and data management systems, SOP compliance, quality control of physical activity data collection, data quality and compliance reviewing.
- Technical support. Ongoing maintenance of equipment and identification of technical issues in the field.
- Data processing. From cleaning of raw data files through to preparation of analysis datasets. This can be undertaken by the Physical Activity Measurement team or processing programmes and guidance can be provided to a study team. The level of support and input is dependent on the measurement instrument, scale of study, expertise and resources required.
- Method development. Adaptation or implementation of novel methods according to study requirements.
- Interpretation and dissemination. Advising on results including statistical analyses, interpretation and key relevant literature. Dissemination includes clinical study reports, presentations and publications.
Previous team members
- Ella Hutchinson
See recent Physical Activity Measurement team publications on the MRC Epidemiology Unit online publications database.