A new equation to estimate energy expenditure using heart rate in children

Mi Hyun Lee, Jeong Hui Park, Myong Won Seo, Seoung Ki Kang, Jung Min Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The first aim of this study was to develop equations to predict physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) for children utilizing heart rate monitors (HRM) and vector magnitudes (VM) from accelerometers. The second aim was to cross-validate the developed PAEE prediction equations and compare the equations to the pre-existing accelerometer-based PAEE equation (i.e., Trost). Seventy-five students in elementary school (from 10 to 13 years old) were classified into an equation calibration group (N = 50, 33 boys and 17 girls) and a cross-validation group (N = 25, 20 boys and 5 girls). Participants simultaneously wore a portable indirect calorimeter (Cosmed’s K4b2), a heart rate monitor on the chest, and an accelerometer on the right side of the waist. Then, the participants performed a series of various intensity activities. The energy expenditure (EE) measured by K4b2 was set as the dependent variable. Multiple regression analysis was performed to derive the heart rate and accelerometer-based equations. The heart-rate-based EE equation had an explanatory power of adj. R2 = 0.814 and the accelerometer-based EE equation had an explanatory power of adj. R2 = 0.802. The VM-based EE indicated high mean absolute percent errors (MAPE) at light, moderate, and vigorous intensity. The heart-rate-based EE was included in the range of equivalence limit in all activities, but the VM and pre-existing equation showed some overestimation beyond the equivalence range. The agreement errors between the criterion EE and the estimated EE were lower in the heart-rate-based equation than the accelerometer-based equations (i.e., VM and Trost). The approach with the heartrate- based EE equation demonstrated higher accuracy than the accelerometer-based EE equations. The results of the current study indicate that the heart-rate-based PAEE equation can be a potential method for estimating children’s PAEE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5092
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerometer
  • Children
  • Energy expenditure
  • Heart rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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