Dynamic body acceleration ( DBA) has been used as a proxy for energy expenditure in logger-equipped animals, with researchers summing the acceleration (overall dynamic body acceleration - ODBA) from the three orthogonal axes of devices. The vector of the dynamic body acceleration ( VeDBA) may be a better proxy so this study compared ODBA and VeDBA as proxies for rate of oxygen consumption using humans and 6 other species. Twenty-one humans on a treadmill ran at different speeds while equipped with two loggers, one in a straight orientation and the other skewed, while rate of oxygen consumption ( ) was recorded. Similar data were obtained from animals but using only one (straight) logger. In humans, both ODBA and VeDBA were good proxies for with all r 2 values exceeding 0.88, although ODBA accounted for slightly but significantly more of the variation in than did VeDBA (P<0.03). There were no significant differences between ODBA and VeDBA in terms of the change in estimated by the acceleration data in a simulated situation of the logger being mounted straight but then becoming skewed (P = 0.744). In the animal study, ODBA and VeDBA were again good proxies for with all r 2 values exceeding 0.70 although, again, ODBA accounted for slightly, but significantly, more of the variation in than did VeDBA (P<0.03). The simultaneous contraction of muscles, inserted variously for limb stability, may produce muscle oxygen use that at least partially equates with summing components to derive DBA. Thus, a vectorial summation to derive DBA cannot be assumed to be the more ‘correct’ calculation. However, although within the limitations of our simple study, ODBA appears a marginally better proxy for . In the unusual situation where researchers are unable to guarantee at least reasonably consistent device orientation, they should use VeDBA as a proxy for .