The Need for Objective Physical Activity Measurements in Routine Bariatric Care

Ellen Kuipers*, Josien Timmerman, Marc van Det, Miriam Vollenbroek-Hutten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study aims to (1) quantify physical behavior through self-reports and sensor-based measures, (2) examine the correlation between self-reported and sensor-based physical activity (PA) and (3) assess whether bariatric patients adhere to PA guidelines. Methods: A Fitbit accelerometer was used to collect minute-to-minute step count and heart rate data for 14 consecutive days. Total physical activity levels (PAL), moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior (SB) were used to quantify physical behavior. Self-reported PA was assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). To analyze the association between sensor-based and self-reported PA, Spearman’s correlation was used. A minimum of 150 MVPA minutes per week was considered as compliance with the PA guidelines. Results: Fitbit data of 37 pre- and 18 post-surgery patients was analyzed. Participants averaged 7403 ± 3243 steps/day and spent most of their time sedentary (832 min, IQR: 749 – 879), especially in prolonged periods of ≥ 30 min (525, IQR: 419 – 641). Median MVPA time was 5.6 min/day (IQR: 1.7 – 10.6). Correlations between self-reported and sensor-based MVPA and SB were respectively 0.072 and 0.455. Only 17.1% was objectively adherent to MVPA guidelines ≥ 150 min/week, while 94.3% met the guidelines in case of self-reports. Conclusion: PA quantification confirmed that bariatric patients are highly sedentary and rarely engage in MVPA, despite a relatively high daily step count. Moreover, bariatric patients are not able to assess MVPA and moderately their SB by self-reports. Our results indicate the need for sensor-based PA monitoring in routine bariatric care. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2975-2986
Number of pages12
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number9
Early online date23 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Accelerometer
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Physical activity
  • Physical behavior profiling
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Self-reports
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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