Basic motion measuring technology may be alternative to more expensive testing procedures

New Orleans, LA The great nuclear-powered aircraft carriers now on station in the Indian Ocean are 1,092 feet long, or about one-fifth of a mile. These largest of warships have more than 11 decks, a flight deck area measuring four-and-one-half acres, and more than 3,000 rooms and compartments throughout. Todays sailors, male and female, expend considerable energy walking about these ships. Accordingly, their energy needs must be supported by a diet that is nutritious and meets their caloric needs.

It is accepted that energy requirements vary with activity level. The energy requirements for the vast number of shipboard occupations are unknown and not necessarily the same for women as they are for their male counterparts. The use of doubly labeled water (DLW), composed of special forms (isotopes) of hydrogen and oxygen, has been used in previous studies to estimate the energy expenditure of various military personnel doing their jobs in a variety of places. The results from these tests, have been accepted as highly accurate, but expensive.

The Study
A team of researchers has suggested that pedometer based-technology may offer the potential for a lower-cost alternative to the DLW method for determining total daily energy expenditure of sailors at sea. A new type of pedometer was used that measures whether a person is running, walking or shuffling and records the distance a person covers on foot in each type of activity by responding to the body motion at each step. What is unknown is whether energy expenditure estimates obtained with these less expensive pedometers are accurate.

This question was addressed in the study, Prediction of Shipboard Total Daily Energy Expenditures Using Pedometry. The authors are William J. Tharion, Miyo Yokota, and Reed W. Hoyt, all from the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA; Mark J. Buller, from GEO-CENTERS, Inc, in Natick, MA; and James P. DeLany, from the Penningt

Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

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