Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise Science

Major Professor

David R. Bassett

Committee Members

Dixie L. Thompson, Eugene C. Fitzhugh


Purpose: To examine the validity of the SenseWear Pro3 armband in estimating energy expenditure during a wide range of field-based activities.

Methods: 41 participants (mean age = 34.5 + 11.7 yrs.) performed one of two routines with 6 activities each, Routine 1 (Outdoor Aerobic Activities) or Routine 2 (Indoor Home-based Activities), while wearing the SenseWear Pro3 (SW) and the Cosmed K4b2 portable metabolic unit. Routine 1 (n=16) included road walking, track walking, walking with 6.8 kg (15 lb.) bag, singles tennis, track running, and road running. Routine 2 (n=25) included TV watching, reading, doing laundry, ironing, light cleaning, and aerobics. Each activity was done for approximately 10 min with a 3-5 min break between activities with resting measurements taken for all participants before routines.

Results: The mean differences (Cosmed-SW) in average MET values for Routine 1 were: road walking (-1.0, p<0.001), track walking (-0.9, p<0.001), walking with bag (-0.7, p<0.01), tennis (1.7, p<0.001), track running (2.7, p<0.001), road running (2.7, p<0.001). For Routine 2, mean differences were: watching TV (-0.1, p>0.05), reading (-0.1, p>0.1), laundry (0.1, p>0.1), ironing (-1.3, p<0.001), light cleaning (-0.4, p<0.01), and aerobics (0.4, p>0.1).

Discussion: Compared to indirect calorimetry, significant differences in average MET levels by the SW Pro3 armband were found for several activities with a trend for EE underestimation at higher intensities (r=0.72, p<0.01). The SW significantly overestimated MET levels of ironing, light cleaning, and all three walking variations, and it significantly underestimated tennis and both running bouts. Algorithms need to be refined for more accurate EE estimations at high intensities and in different field-based activities.

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