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Low-cost consumer-based trackers to measure physical activity and sleep duration among adults in free-living conditions : validation study

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Abstract
Background: Wearable trackers for monitoring physical activity (PA) and total sleep time (TST) are increasingly popular. These devices are used not only by consumers to monitor their behavior but also by researchers to track the behavior of large samples and by health professionals to implement interventions aimed at health promotion and to remotely monitor patients. However, high costs and accuracy concerns may be barriers to widespread adoption. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the concurrent validity of 6 low-cost activity trackers for measuring steps, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and TST: Geonaut On Coach, iWown i5 Plus, MyKronoz ZeFit4, Nokia GO, VeryFit 2.0, and Xiaomi MiBand 2. Methods: A free-living protocol was used in which 20 adults engaged in their usual daily activities and sleep. For 3 days and 3 nights, they simultaneously wore a low-cost tracker and a high-cost tracker (Fitbit Charge HR) on the nondominant wrist. Participants wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer on the hip at daytime and a BodyMedia SenseWear device on the nondominant upper arm at nighttime. Validity was assessed by comparing each tracker with the ActiGraph GT3X+ and BodyMedia SenseWear using mean absolute percentage error scores, correlations, and Bland-Altman plots in IBM SPSS 24.0. Results: Large variations were shown between trackers. Low-cost trackers showed moderate-to-strong correlations (Spearman r=0.53-0.91) and low-to-good agreement (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]=0.51-0.90) for measuring steps. Weak-to-moderate correlations (Spearman r=0.24-0.56) and low agreement (ICC=0.18-0.56) were shown for measuring MVPA. For measuring TST, the low-cost trackers showed weak-to-strong correlations (Spearman r=0.04-0.73) and low agreement (ICC=0.05-0.52). The Bland-Altman plot revealed a variation between overcounting and undercounting for measuring steps, MVPA, and TST, depending on the used low-cost tracker. None of the trackers, including Fitbit (a high-cost tracker), showed high validity to measure MVPA. Conclusions: This study was the first to examine the concurrent validity of low-cost trackers. Validity was strongest for the measurement of steps; there was evidence of validity for measurement of sleep in some trackers, and validity for measurement of MVPA time was weak throughout all devices. Validity ranged between devices, with Xiaomi having the highest validity for measurement of steps and VeryFit performing relatively strong across both sleep and steps domains Low-cost trackers hold promise for monitoring and measurement of movement and sleep behaviors, both for consumers and researchers.
Keywords
fitness trackers, mobile phone, acceleromefty, physical activity, sleep, SEDENTARY BEHAVIOR, ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE, ACTIVITY MONITORS, VALIDITY, POLYSOMNOGRAPHY, ACCELEROMETER, INTERVENTIONS, RELIABILITY, ACCURACY, TAXONOMY

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MLA
Degroote, Laurent, et al. “Low-Cost Consumer-Based Trackers to Measure Physical Activity and Sleep Duration among Adults in Free-Living Conditions : Validation Study.” JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH, vol. 8, no. 5, 2020, doi:10.2196/16674.
APA
Degroote, L., Hamerlinck, G., Poels, K., Maher, C., Crombez, G., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., … DeSmet, A. (2020). Low-cost consumer-based trackers to measure physical activity and sleep duration among adults in free-living conditions : validation study. JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH, 8(5). https://doi.org/10.2196/16674
Chicago author-date
Degroote, Laurent, Gilles Hamerlinck, K Poels, C Maher, Geert Crombez, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Anneke Vandendriessche, RG Curtis, and Ann DeSmet. 2020. “Low-Cost Consumer-Based Trackers to Measure Physical Activity and Sleep Duration among Adults in Free-Living Conditions : Validation Study.” JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH 8 (5). https://doi.org/10.2196/16674.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Degroote, Laurent, Gilles Hamerlinck, K Poels, C Maher, Geert Crombez, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Anneke Vandendriessche, RG Curtis, and Ann DeSmet. 2020. “Low-Cost Consumer-Based Trackers to Measure Physical Activity and Sleep Duration among Adults in Free-Living Conditions : Validation Study.” JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH 8 (5). doi:10.2196/16674.
Vancouver
1.
Degroote L, Hamerlinck G, Poels K, Maher C, Crombez G, De Bourdeaudhuij I, et al. Low-cost consumer-based trackers to measure physical activity and sleep duration among adults in free-living conditions : validation study. JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH. 2020;8(5).
IEEE
[1]
L. Degroote et al., “Low-cost consumer-based trackers to measure physical activity and sleep duration among adults in free-living conditions : validation study,” JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH, vol. 8, no. 5, 2020.
@article{8665298,
  abstract     = {Background: Wearable trackers for monitoring physical activity (PA) and total sleep time (TST) are increasingly popular. These devices are used not only by consumers to monitor their behavior but also by researchers to track the behavior of large samples and by health professionals to implement interventions aimed at health promotion and to remotely monitor patients. However, high costs and accuracy concerns may be barriers to widespread adoption.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the concurrent validity of 6 low-cost activity trackers for measuring steps, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and TST: Geonaut On Coach, iWown i5 Plus, MyKronoz ZeFit4, Nokia GO, VeryFit 2.0, and Xiaomi MiBand 2.

Methods: A free-living protocol was used in which 20 adults engaged in their usual daily activities and sleep. For 3 days and 3 nights, they simultaneously wore a low-cost tracker and a high-cost tracker (Fitbit Charge HR) on the nondominant wrist. Participants wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer on the hip at daytime and a BodyMedia SenseWear device on the nondominant upper arm at nighttime. Validity was assessed by comparing each tracker with the ActiGraph GT3X+ and BodyMedia SenseWear using mean absolute percentage error scores, correlations, and Bland-Altman plots in IBM SPSS 24.0.

Results: Large variations were shown between trackers. Low-cost trackers showed moderate-to-strong correlations (Spearman r=0.53-0.91) and low-to-good agreement (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]=0.51-0.90) for measuring steps. Weak-to-moderate correlations (Spearman r=0.24-0.56) and low agreement (ICC=0.18-0.56) were shown for measuring MVPA. For measuring TST, the low-cost trackers showed weak-to-strong correlations (Spearman r=0.04-0.73) and low agreement (ICC=0.05-0.52). The Bland-Altman plot revealed a variation between overcounting and undercounting for measuring steps, MVPA, and TST, depending on the used low-cost tracker. None of the trackers, including Fitbit (a high-cost tracker), showed high validity to measure MVPA.

Conclusions: This study was the first to examine the concurrent validity of low-cost trackers. Validity was strongest for the measurement of steps; there was evidence of validity for measurement of sleep in some trackers, and validity for measurement of MVPA time was weak throughout all devices. Validity ranged between devices, with Xiaomi having the highest validity for measurement of steps and VeryFit performing relatively strong across both sleep and steps domains Low-cost trackers hold promise for monitoring and measurement of movement and sleep behaviors, both for consumers and researchers.},
  articleno    = {e16674},
  author       = {Degroote, Laurent and Hamerlinck, Gilles and Poels, K and Maher, C and Crombez, Geert and De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse and Vandendriessche, Anneke and Curtis, RG and DeSmet, Ann},
  issn         = {2291-5222},
  journal      = {JMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH},
  keywords     = {fitness trackers,mobile phone,acceleromefty,physical activity,sleep,SEDENTARY BEHAVIOR,ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE,ACTIVITY MONITORS,VALIDITY,POLYSOMNOGRAPHY,ACCELEROMETER,INTERVENTIONS,RELIABILITY,ACCURACY,TAXONOMY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {22},
  title        = {Low-cost consumer-based trackers to measure physical activity and sleep duration among adults in free-living conditions : validation study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/16674},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2020},
}

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