Adults with Down syndrome (DS) participate in less physical activity on average than adults without DS. Adults with DS also have gait issues that affect their walking patterns, as well as energy expenditure. In previous research, accelerometer, pedometers, and portable spirometers were used to predict average energy expenditure to better understand activity patterns in adults with DS. Our study used state-of-the-art Actigraph triaxial accelerometers to estimate energy expenditure for adults with DS against adults without DS. We believe that adults with DS have different energy expenditure levels, and that our study can better predict the difference in these levels, as well as the accuracy of the accelerometers used to measure them.
Using our I AM AN ATHLETE grant, our research team purchased accelerometer to help make proper data collection more seamless. These Actigraph accelerometers are triaxial, which measure movement in not only the frontal plane, but in the transverse and sagittal planes. Our adults with and without DS wore these accelerometers on their hips and wrists to get the most accurate data possible for different activity movements. These data points for energy expenditure will allow future researchers and practitioners to help provide better health evaluations, as well as provide more precise exercise programs for adults with DS. These accelerometers which were purchased with our grant were used in multiple locations in the golden triangle area in Mississippi to gain adequate data to support the research. Moving forward this research will lead to healthier adults with DS.