Evaluation of the SenseWear Pro Armband™ to Assess Energy Expenditure during Exercise

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To assess the accuracy of the SenseWear Pro Armband™ for estimating energy expenditure during exercise.


Forty subjects (age = 23.2 ± 3.8 yr; body mass index = 23.8 ± 3.1 kg·m−2) performed four exercises (walking, cycling, stepping, arm ergometry) with each exercise lasting 20–30 min and workload increasing at 10-min intervals. Subjects wore the SenseWear Pro Armband™ on the right arm, and energy expenditure was estimated using proprietary equations developed by the manufacturer. Estimated energy expenditure from the SenseWear Pro Armband™ was compared with energy expenditure determined from indirect open-circuit calorimetry, which served as the criterion measure.


When a generalized proprietary algorithm was applied to the data, the SenseWear Pro Armband™ significantly underestimated total energy expenditure by 14.9 ± 17.5 kcal (6.9 ± 8.5%) during walking exercise, 32.4 ± 18.8 kcal (28.9 ± 13.5%) during cycle ergometry, 28.2 ± 20.3 kcal (17.7 ± 11.8%) during stepping exercise, and overestimated total energy expenditure by 21.7 ± 8.7 kcal (29.3 ± 13.8%) during arm ergometer exercise (P ≤ 0.001). At the request of the investigators, exercise-specific algorithms were developed by the manufacturer and applied to the data that resulted in nonsignificant differences in total energy expenditure between indirect calorimetry and the SenseWear Pro Armband™ of 4.6 ± 18.1 kcal (2.8 ± 9.4%), 0.3 ± 11.3 kcal (0.9 ± 10.7%), 2.5 ± 18.3 kcal (0.9 ± 11.9%), and 3.2 ± 8.1 kcal (3.8 ± 9.9%) for the walk, cycle ergometer, step, and arm ergometer exercises, respectively.


It appears that it is necessary to apply exercise-specific algorithms to the SenseWear Pro Armband™ to enhance the accuracy of estimating energy expenditure during periods of exercise. When exercise-specific algorithms are used, the SenseWear Pro Armband™ provides an accurate estimate of energy expenditure when compared to indirect calorimetry during exercise periods examined in this study.

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