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The Effect of a Fitbit Accelerometer on Physical Activity: 469 Board #306 June 1, 1100 AM - 1230 PM

Farnell, Greg; Westrup, Ryan

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2016 - Volume 48 - Issue 5S - p 134
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000485400.65832.83
A-50 Free Communication/Poster - Physical Activity Promotion Programming/Intervention Strategies in Adults Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM Room: Exhibit Hall A/B

1John Carroll University, University Heights, OH. 2University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK. (Sponsor: Ellen Glickman, FACSM)

(No relationships reported)

With wearable technology topping the 2016 ACSM Fitness Trends survey, research in this area may help quantify the importance of such devices.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this research was to determine if the FITBIT accelerometer altered physical activity levels in those wearing the accelerometer versus those not wearing the device.

METHODS: There were 19 participants in this study, recruited from the University of Central Oklahoma employee wellness program. Each participant completed the Human Activity Profile (HAP) survey to measure physical activity levels pre- and post- experimentation. Ten participants received a FITBIT accelerometer to wear for six weeks, while the other nine participants made up a control group and did not use an accelerometer.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the FITBIT and the control groups HAP maximum activity scores (MAS) (p = 0.16), and HAP adjusted activity scores (AAS)(p = 0.0.179). There was not a significant difference for the main effect for time (p = 0.367), main effect for group (p = 0.98), or interaction of time by group (p = 0.389). Steps did not significantly change across time for the FITBIT group (p = 0.41). The FITBIT group did have a smaller effect size than the control group for MAS (d = 0.325, d = 0.587) and for AAS (d= 0.054, d = 0.565).

CONCLUSIONS: The FITBIT group did not have significantly different physical activity levels than the control group. Despite the nonsignificant results, the smaller effect size for the FITBIT group may suggest that the FITBIT made a smaller difference compared to the control group--meaning the physical activity levels decreased less than that of the control group’s activity levels.

© 2016 American College of Sports Medicine