Forms of For Losing Weight While Pregnancy Technology. There are many technological advances that allow total and physical activity energy expenditure measurements. Heart rate monitors have been used for some time with athletes to measure intensity levels of training, but they can also be used to estimate energy expenditure. Heart rate can estimate VO2 and energy expenditure since it shows a linear relationship with these two variables at submaximal exercise. However, these devices are moderately reliable and can have a high margin of error, especially when it comes to measuring energy expenditure (Erdogan et al. 2010; Montgomery et al. 2009). Thus, these devices should be used for rough estimates only.
More recent technology has improved energy expenditure estimates. Accelerometers, a type of physical activity monitor, can sense physiological or mechanical responses to an individual’s movement and these signals can be used to estimate physical activity energy expenditure. Information including the intensity, duration, and frequency of activity can be obtained; heart rate and heat produced by the body may also be measured and can be integrated in to the computation to provide more accurate energy estimation. These devices were initially used only in research settings due to the cost associated with the technology and advanced software; however, recent developments have resulted in accelerometers becoming available for commercial use that are much more affordable.
Accelerometers can be a convenient and noninvasive way to measure TEE in addition to estimating energy expended during physical activity. Some devices also provide other feedback such as assessing sleep quantity and quality, tracking steps taken, and measuring elevation. Yet, accelerometers should not be considered comparable to laboratory-based measures of energy expenditure, including indirect calorimetry and doubly labeled water. In a recent study looking at the reliability and validity of many of the most current devices found that they were only moderately accurate at estimating TEE with an error range of 12 to 29 percent S Ferguson et al. 2015). The devices were most likely to underestimate energy expenditure; thus, using these measurements to provide energy recommendations could result in an inadequate energy intake.
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Finally, technological advancements that assist in the measurement of PA and TEE include various websites and “apps” (a software program or application). With the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, the majority of Americans have access to various websites that allow for estimation of energy expended through activity. Through the Internet individuals can access the predictive equations mentioned previously, such as the Harris Benedict equation or Mifflin St. Jeor equation to get an estimate of their TEE; the Internet would also allow individuals to access the METS Compendium to assess PA expenditure. There are also websites where individuals can enter in their age, height, weight, gender, and typical daily intake to get an estimate of their TEE. From there individuals enter information on specific PA performed and they can see not only an estimate of the energy expenditure for that activity, but they can also see how that affects their TEE. Common websites include www.myfitnesspal.com, www.loseit.com, and www.supertracker.usda.gov
Apps, as they have become commonly known, are software programs that are available on smartphones and other portable devices, and can also reference software that can be accessed when online. With so many Americans owning smartphones, apps on these devices can be a very accessible way to estimate activity energy expenditure. Most smartphones have accelerometers contained in them which allows for tracking of steps, and by mapping this information through a calibration algorithm a caloric value of energy expenditure is available to the user. Smartphones and other portable devices may also have sensors that detect body temperature changes and heart rate monitors as well as GPS capability to give more geographical details of the movement of an individual (such as altitude changes). Apps that integrate this information can provide more specific feedback to the individual including estimates of PA and TEE. The advantages of these technologies is that it provides regular and immediate information to the user. While technology is constantly advancing and accuracy continues to improve, the information provided from these technologies should still be considered estimates and not used as exact values.
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