Secondary Logo

Accuracy Of Steps, Energy Expenditure, And Distance In Nine Activity Trackers: 1341 Board #16 June 1 900 AM - 1030 AM

Smith, Michael A.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2017 - Volume 49 - Issue 5S - p 362
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000517871.61666.82
C-31 Free Communication/Poster - Activity Trackers and Smartwatches Thursday, June 1, 2017, 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM Room: Hall F

University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK.

(No relationships reported)

PURPOSE: To evaluate the accuracy of the step counts, energy expenditure (EE), and distance measured from 9 consumer grade activity trackers.

METHODS: Twenty participants completed 1 mile of walking followed by 1 mile of running on a treadmill in the lab. Participants completed 3 sessions of exercise while wearing as many as 4 devices set up for their height, weight, and age in addition to an Actigraph GT3X (GT3X) accelerometer. Devices included in the study were (1) the Fitbit Surge (FBS), Charge (FBC), and Charge HR (FBH); (2) the Garmin Vivoactive (GVA) and Vivosmart HR (GVS); (3) the Jawbone UP2 and UP3; (4) the Polar Loop and; (5) the Microsoft Band 2 (MSB). Data from the devices were compared to the GT3X for steps and American College of Sports Medicine metabolic equations (ACSMME) for estimated EE. Distance recorded by the devices was compared to the 1-mile treadmill completed distance.

RESULTS: The GVA and GVS performed best with accurate measures for running steps counted, walking EE, running EE, and walking distance (p < .05). The FBH and UP3 performed worst with only accurate step counts for running (p < .05). The FBH and FBS underestimated walking steps by 370 steps (p < .000) and 318 steps (p = .002) respectively. Only the PL and UP2 were accurate for steps counted at a walking pace; however, both devices underestimated steps at 48 steps (p = .227) and 86 steps (p = .06) respectively.

CONCLUSION: Few devices accurately measured steps at speeds lower than 4.5mph when compared to a validated accelerometer; however, most devices may accurately measure steps taken at speeds greater than 4.5mph. Few devices accurately measured EE for a 1-mile walk or run when compared to ACSMME. Few devices accurately measured distance for a walk, and none of the devices accurately measured distance for a run. It is recommended that accuracy should be considered when using activity tracking devices for the measurement of daily physical activity.

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine