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MRC Epidemiology Unit : Data Sharing

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ICAD Study Level Descriptors

International Children's Accelerometry Database [ICAD]

Parent study:

Other names:

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.

Over the past decade, accelerometers have increased in popularity as an objective measure of physical activity in free-living individuals. Evidence suggests that objective measures, rather than subjective tools such as questionnaires, are more likely to detect associations between physical activity and health in children. To date, a number of studies of children and adolescents across diverse cultures around the globe have collected accelerometer measures of physical activity accompanied by a broad range of predictor variables and associated health outcomes. The International Children's Accelerometry Database (ICAD) project pooled and reduced raw accelerometer data using standardized methods to create comparable outcome variables across studies. Such data pooling has the potential to improve our knowledge regarding the strength of relationships between physical activity and health. Pooling raw accelerometer data and accompanying phenotypic data from a number of studies has the potential to: a) increase statistical power due to a large sample size, b) create a more heterogeneous and potentially more representative sample, c) standardize and optimize the analytical methods used in the generation of outcome variables, and d) provide a means to study the causes of inter-study variability in physical activity. Methodological challenges include inflated variability in accelerometry measurements and the wide variation in tools and methods used to collect non-accelerometer data.


Linked to Google Maps
Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
Ballabeina Study, St. Gallen & Lausanne, Switzerland
Belgium Pre-School, Flanders, Belgium
Children’s Health and Activity Monitoring Programme in Schools (CHAMPS), Stoke, UK
The Copenhagen School Children Intervention Study (CoSCIS), Copenhagen, Denmark
Denmark European Youth Heart Study (EYHS), Odense, Denmark
Estonia European Youth Heart Study (EYHS), Tartu, Estonia
Kinder-Sportstudie (KISS) Study, Aargau and Baselland, Switzerland
Movement and Activity Glasgow Intervention in Children (MAGIC), Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Norway European Youth Heart Study (EYHS), Oslo, Norway
Personal and Environmental Associations with Children’s Health (PEACH), Bristol, UK
Portugal European Youth Heart Study (EYHS), Madeira
Sport, Physical activity and Eating behaviour: Environmental Determinants in Young people (SPEEDY), Norfolk, UK
Pelotas 1993 Birth Cohort, Pelotas, Brazil
Children Living in Active Neighbourhoods (CLAN), Melbourne, Australia
Healthy Eating and Play Study (HEAPS), Melbourne, Australia
CHAMPS, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Iowa Bone Development Study (IBDS), Iowa, USA
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (03/04; 05/06) (NHANES), USA
Project Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG), USA

Accelerometry, Physical Activity, Sedentary, Data Harmonisation, Children, Adolescents, Epidemiology

Research areas:
Physical Activity, Metabolic risk factors, Behavioural Epidemiology

Research purposes:
ICAD aims to enable the study of behaviour – disease relationships, descriptive epidemiology, methodological investigations, and investigation of correlates/determinants of behaviour. Proposals are required to include accelerometer data as either outcome or exposure.

Children and adolescents (N=14,232 boys, N=22,803 girls and N=792 with sex unknown; aged 2.5-19.5 years).

Available for data requests

Not currently recruiting further studies.

Start date:

End date:

Data access:
The ICAD study is open for data request as a supported access resource. Please find information regarding the application process to access the data below. Data will be released in chronological order by date of accepted proposals and usually within 5 to 10 working days. For more information, see the ICAD website

Data collected:
See for overview:

Sample size:
37,827 participants

Sampling method:

Participation type:

Inclusion criteria:

Exclusion criteria:

Current size:
37,827 participants

Data sources:

  • Access overview study details by following the OVERVIEW link for a study
  • Access the details of a studies data and releases by following the RELEASE link for a study
  • Access the latest study data dictionary by following the DICTIONARY link for a study
  • Access the study questionaiires by following the QUESTIONNAIRES link for a study

Related parties:
categories of data recorded about related parties, i.e. collaborator, doctor surgeries, organisations

Additional information:
any important extra information which doesn’t fit in the existing fields

Information created: 10 Apr 2014 by A Dickinson & I Loudon
Information last updated: 22 February 2017 by A Dickinson