ICAD: International Children’s Accelerometer Database



Objective methods, such as accelerometers, have become a preferred option when measuring population levels of physical activity, examining trends in activity patterns and when examining associations between activity and health outcomes in young people. The International Children’s Accelerometry Database (ICAD) project is a consortium including 20 partners which pooled and reduced raw accelerometer data using standardized methods to create comparable outcome variables in 32,000 young people aged 3 to 18 years across studies from Europe, the US, Brazil and Australia [1].

By pooling and reanalysing accelerometer data from different studies the ICAD has the potential to increase statistical power due to a large sample size, create a more heterogeneous and potentially more representative sample and  provide a means to study the causes of inter-study variability in physical activity. Key studies to date have explored the metabolic associations with sedentary time in youth [2] and differing activity levels of youth by age, sex, weight status and country [3].

The ICAD project was funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative in the UK and is led by a steering committee including Prof. Ashley Cooper, Dr. Angie Page, and representatives from MRC Epidemiology Unit, Loughborough University and the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences.

The database is managed by the MRC Epidemiology Unit and is publicly available for data requests.

Website: http://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/research/studies/icad/


1. Sherar L, Griew P, Esliger D, Cooper AR, Ekelund U, Judge K, Riddoch CJ. (2011). International Children’s Accelerometry Database (ICAD): design and methods. BMC Public Health 11:485.

2. Ekelund U, Luan J, Sherar LB, Esliger DW, Griew P, Cooper AR. (2012). Moderate to vigorous physical activity and sedentary time and cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adolescents. JAMA 307(7):704-712.

3. Cooper AR, Goodman A, Page AS, Sherar L, Esliger D, van Sluijs EMF et al. (2015). Objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time in youth: the International Children’s Accelerometry Database (ICAD). International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12:113 DOI 10.1186/s12966-015-0274-5

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