The activPAL™ is the researcher’s preferred choice for quantifying free-living sedentary, upright and ambulatory activities, providing evidence to link physical behaviours with chronic disease risk. At PAL we developed simple, unobtrusive technologies which accurately describe a person’s activities throughout the day. While walking performance and exercise tolerance are easily measured in the laboratory, they tell us little about the type and intensity of activities people do at home, work or school. Self-report diaries tell us what people think they did whereas the activPAL provides an objective, accurate measurement of the different free living physical activities people actually did. By providing context to these activities in addition to intensity, we can quantify active (walking or cycling) travel to work versus car or other transportation, posture allocation and the pattern and intensity of these activities. Consequently, researchers world-wide are using our devices not only to measure the everyday activity of clinical and non-clinical populations, but also to obtain detailed, objective evidence on how the individual’s environment influences their free-living behaviours. As the only accelerometer capable of quantifying time cycling, the activPAL provides a unique opportunity to objectively quantify active travel, giving the researcher previously unmeasurable, but extremely valuable, insights into free-living behaviours.
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