The importance of accelerometry for recording physical activity

The article „Assessing physical behavior through accelerometry – State of the science, best practices and future directions“ (Buchartz et al., 2020) provides an up-to-date overview of the possibilities of accelerometry and makes recommendations for its use.
Modern accelerometers provide researchers with the ability to collect objective data regarding the intensity and duration of physical activity over a period ranging from several days to several weeks and months.

If your research revolves around physical activity, we’ll show you how our activity sensors accurately record physical activity in everyday life.

Move 4 und LightMove 4 - Perfect tools for capturing physical activity

The activity sensor Move 4 from movisens allows a continuous, objective recording of physical activity for up to 4 weeks. From the measurement parameters (3-axis acceleration, rotation rate and barometric pressure) we can calculate a multitude of categories and output parameters such as Physical Activity (PA), Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep, Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity Metrics.
The integrated pressure sensor improves both activity classification and the accuracy of energy expenditure estimation. For example, we can distinguish between normal walking and stair climbing.
A further advantage presented by the LightMove 4 model is an integrated light sensor. The data recorded by the light sensor allows the detection of the type of ambient light and also helps detect the intention to sleep.

All Output Parameters at a glance


Output parameter

Live Analysis

Physical Activity Metrics

MAI (MovementAcceleration Intensity)

BFEN (Band-pass Filtered Euclidean Norm)

HFEN (High-pass Filtered Euclidean Norm)

EN (Euclidian Norm)

ENMO (Euclidian Norm Minus One)

HFENP (High-pass Filtered Euclidean Norm plus)

EEAC (EeacMean)

MAD (Mean Amplitude Deviation)

ZC (Zero Crossing)

PIM (Proportional Integrating Measure)

AWC (ActiWatch4Counts)














Phsical Activity

Activity Level

Activity Class

Energy Expenditure



Body Position







Sedentary Behaviour






Wear Detection

Worn/Not Worn


The movisens team provides development expertise for researcher specific questions. We’re always happy to discuss your research project and see if we can tailor a solution for you.
Given repeated requests, we’ve integrated an IR Temperature sensor in our activity sensor Move 4 and our ECG and activity sensor EcgMove 4. This researcher specific customisation allows a continuous recording of the participant’s skin temperature.

Further Measurement Parameters

  • Internal Temperature Sensor -> Body Temperature
  • IR-Temperature-Sensor -> Skin Temperature
  • Ambient Ligth Sensor -> Light Intensity (red, green, blue, clear, IR)
  • ECG-Amplifier -> ECG (1 Channel, 16 bit, 1024 Hz)
  • EDA-Amplifier -> Skin Conductance, Elektrodermale Activity, SNS activation

Other Sensors/ Recording Options

Mobile Sensing

movisensXS provides researchers easy access to the Mobile Sensing features of smartphones. The additional insights derived through Mobile Sensing add context to questionnaire data, and can help determine optimal times for interventions. This is useful for researchers of Interactive Ambulatory Assessment. Learn more about the possibilities of Mobile Sensing and about Social Sensing and their application within Interactive Ambulatory Assessment in our recommendations and in our webinar.

Sensors for measuring skin temperature

Our customer oriented development serves as a keystone for our success in ambulatory assessment and mobile monitoring technologies. Combined with our expertise in sensor technology, we regularly implement custom solutions for researchers.

movisens track record of implementing customer wishes takes another step forward. Due to researcher requests, we've integrated an infrared temperature sensor into our mobile physiological sensors the Move 4, and the EcgMove 4. This enables the continuous acquisition of skin temperature in addition to the wide array of other signals recorded.

Not only in times of corona is the measurement of skin temperature an important procedure, also in many other fields, important knowledge can be gained with the use of skin temperature; as the following example application illustrates.

movisens´ integrated IR-Sensors in use:

  • Innovative Project for Domomedicine Deployment: The PiCADo Pilot Project
  • A novel algorithm for detecting human circadian rhythms using a thoracic temperature sensor
  • Relevance of a Mobile Internet Platform for Capturing Inter- and Intrasubject Variabilities in Circadian Coordination During Daily Routine: Pilot Study

Learn more about the Product Customization that movisens offers.

Study on the prevalence of coronavirus in Estonia

The University of Tartu is currently conducting several studies on COVID-19. The study "Coping with stress in emergency situation" (Stressiga toimetulek eriolukorras) is one of them and asks how people experience the emergency situation caused by COVID-19, and what are the resources predicting better coping with it.
For this purpose questionnaires are used via the experience sampling plattform movisensXS.

Learn more about the possibilities that movisens currently offers you

Ecological Momentary Interventions with movisens

The solutions from movisens make Ecological Momentary Interventions realizable with movisensXS.

What triggers are possible
  • Questionnaire replies
  • Condition Mutable Values
  • Mobile Sensing
  • Sensor trigger
  • Complex analysis via analysis server (questionnaire answers, sensor data, also based on history)
  • Trigger from ExternerApp
How can interventions be designed
  • Text
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Generated feedback from the server
  • Gamification
  • Call external app

Learn more about the possibilities that movisens currently offers on EMIs

EMA-Study of COVID-19

The Institute for Psychology at the University of Vienna currently utilises movisensXS in the study: „The COVID-19 crisis, stress, mood, and behaviour: an ecological momentary assessment study“ headed by Claus Lamm, Urs Nater and Giorgia Silani. This study aims to investigate the effects of the acute phase of the COVID-19 crisis on stress, mood, and behaviour using an ecological momentary assessment approach via a smartphone-app.

Participants receive questions multiple times a day about their current current well-being via a notification from a customised version of the movisensXS-App on their smartphone. Using this method allows a thorough analysis of the different elements of the questionnaires and their changes over time.

Learn more about the possibilities of conducting studies with movisens in times of the Corona crisis.

Corona Service – Study Recommendation

Dear customers, dearest researchers,

In challenging times like these, we’d like to take a moment to wish you personally, your families, your colleagues and your study participant’s good health. We here at movisens remain available for you even in the current crisis. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding ongoing or planned studies. Together, we will find the optimal solution to keep some things moving forward in this difficult situation.
Presently we’re all working from home and trying to make the best out of this challenging situation. Therefore we have thought about how we can support you in the best possible way. In addition, we prepared some tips to give you and your study participants to allow you to continue your research projects.

Learn more about the possibilities that movisens currently offers you

movisens DataProcessing Service

movisens presents the DataProcessing Service – a service that spares you the time and hassle of cleaning and processing your data.
The movisens experts process physiological as well as subjective data as required, to move you quickly in to the statistical phase of your study.

Learn more about the services of the movisens DataProcessing Service

movisensXS App Version 1.5

SensorTrigger functionality fully integrated in movisensXS

We're proud to announce that the sensor trigger for Experience Sampling and Ecological Momentary Assessment studies is now out of Beta. Now you can implement innovative research ideas by coupling one of our class leading activity sensors with movisensXS - our intuitive and comprehensive experience sampling platform - to capture truly insightful data.

Our research grade sensors analyze physiological parameters in real time and transmit the results via Bluetooth Smart. This allows individually configurable algorithms to trigger forms in movisensXS based on changes in physiology that the researcher wants to examine. By implementing one of our existing algorithms, the detection of physiological changes, such as high activity levels, sedentary behaviour, heart rate variability (RMSSD), and heart rate thresholds (among many others), can act as a trigger within your EMA/ESM study.

You have the freedom to select different algorithms for each individual participant, and also further customize the existing algorithms within groups. There's a range of existing algorithms developed for specific research projects that provide a small sampling of what is possible with this innovative technology.

If you have an existing algorithm that you would like to utilize, or an idea for a physiological marker that you would like to have as a trigger, we can work with you to implement this idea and develop your study.

Since the Beta we have added the possibility to skip the coupling of sensors when starting a study, allowing you to couple or re-couple sensors later.

If you want to use the movisens Sensor trigger feature please drop us a line under and tell us the Email address of your movisensXS account so we can grant you access to the feature. The full documentation describing the features can be found in our docs website.

Improved wizard for sending debug information

In case a study does not run correctly on a particular smartphone you can send us debug information from the Settings Screen. It is now required to type some description of the problem. This helps us to spot possible problems and continue to improve the user experience for everyone.

More Improvements

  • Added Android 9 compatibility
  • Fixed bug with Android Oreo or higher where notification sound can't be defined after startup anymore
  • Added new dnd mode detection and prevention
  • Changed behaviour in case of unexpected app restarts, which occasionally caused studies not to function in some rare cases
  • Replaced Google Cloud Messaging with Firebase Cloud Messaging
  • Fixed problems with DnD mode permission not being available in devices
  • Fixed notification sound and channels with all different android versions
  • Fixed bug in mutable values if they start with a whitespace
  • Added possibility to disable the feedback for the cognitive Tests PVT and SART
  • Fixed smaller bugs

Improvements of beta features (available on request)

  • Changed Sampling Block "Log device running" to log every minute
  • Added new "One Of" block to select randomized actions like forms
  • Added possibility to analyze the results on an external server and trigger actions based on the analysis
  • Added "Multi Geofence Trigger" which allows the specification of multiple geofences in a csv file
  • Added "Log Static Locations" block and "Label Static Locations" item to record and label static locations of a participant during a study
  • Added new "Play Sound Repeatedly" item

The next app release

Warning: The next release will drop the support for Android versions below Android 4.4. We have to do this step to increase the security of the encrypted data transfer as recommended by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). Please make sure that you finish your study on Phones with Android lower than 4.4 in the next month and upload all data from these devices before 01.04.2020 otherwise you are not able to upload the data any more. As always, let us know if you have any questions. Please spread the word and tell your colleagues about our great new features.