Number of days required to measure sedentary time and physical activity using accelerometery in rheumatoid arthritis: a reliability study

Ciara M O'Brien, George D Kitas, Fiona Rayner, John D Isaacs, Kenneth F Baker, Arthur G Pratt, Christopher D Buckley, Karim Raza, Andrew Filer, Stefan Siebert, Iain McInnes, Andrew McGucken, Sally A M Fenton, BIOFLARE Consortium

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This study aimed to determine the minimum number of days required to reliably estimate free-living sedentary time, light-intensity physical activity (LPA) and moderate-intensity physical activity (MPA) using accelerometer data in people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), according to Disease Activity Score-28-C-reactive protein (DAS-28-CRP). Secondary analysis of two existing RA cohorts with controlled (cohort 1) and active (cohort 2) disease was undertaken. People with RA were classified as being in remission (DAS-28-CRP < 2.4, n = 9), or with low (DAS-28-CRP ≥ 2.4-≤ 3.2, n = 15), moderate (DAS-28-CRP > 3.2-≤ 5.1, n = 41) or high (DAS-28-CRP > 5.1, n = 16) disease activity. Participants wore an ActiGraph accelerometer on their right hip for 7 days during waking hours. Validated RA-specific cut-points were applied to accelerometer data to estimate free-living sedentary time, LPA and MPA (%/day). Single-day intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated and used in the Spearman Brown prophecy formula to determine the number of monitoring days required to achieve measurement reliability (ICC ≥ 0.80) for each group. The remission group required ≥ 4 monitoring days to achieve an ICC ≥ 0.80 for sedentary time and LPA, with low, moderate and high disease activity groups requiring ≥ 3 monitoring days to reliably estimate these behaviours. The monitoring days required for MPA were more variable across disease activity groups (remission =  ≥ 3 days; low =  ≥ 2 days; moderate =  ≥ 3 days; high =  ≥ 5 days). We conclude at least 4 monitoring days will reliably estimate sedentary time and LPA in RA, across the whole spectrum of disease activity. However, to reliably estimate behaviours across the movement continuum (sedentary time, LPA, MPA), at least 5 monitoring days are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1465
Number of pages7
JournalRheumatology international
Issue number8
Early online date25 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • Accelerometry
  • sedentary behaviour
  • sedentary time
  • physical activity

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