C-31 Free Communication/Poster - Activity Trackers and Smartwatches Thursday, June 1, 2017, 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM Room: Hall F
The sport of pickleball is increasing in popularity throughout the United States, especially in middle-aged, and older adults. Research investigating the physiological demands of pickleball is limited. The use of wearable technology is also gaining popularity, however, the accuracy of such devices is under question.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if wearable technology provide valid heart rate (HR) measures during pickleball doubles in middle aged adults.
METHODS: 8 female, intermediate level pickleball players (IFP = 3.0 ± 0.8; age = 47 ± 11 years; mass = 72.5 ± 12.8 kg; height = 1.70 ± 0.08 m) participated in this study. All subjects played pickleball doubles for 30 minutes. HR was measured using two devices (Fitbit HR, worn on the dominate writs, and Polar HR monitor, worn at the xiphoid process level). Peak and mean HR were determined for each device. A paired sample t-tests was used to determine differences in HR between devices for each dependent variable (HR max and HR mean). A Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the concurrent validity between the gold standard (Polar HR system) and the wearable technology (Fitbit HR).
RESULTS: Peak HR measured by the Polar system (151.9 ± 15.9 beats/min) was not significantly different from the peak HR measured by the Fitbit HR (149.6 ± 18.0 beats/min; p = 0.69). Similarly, mean HR measured by the Polar system (127.9 ± 17.9 beats/min) was not significantly different from the mean HR measured by the Fitbit HR (121.0 ± 18.2 beats/min; p = 0.23). Concurrent validity between the Polar HR system and the Fitbit HR for both peak (r = 0.6) and mean HR (r = 0.66) was also nonsignificant (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: On average, peak and mean HR was similar between the two devices. These results support the validity of wearable technology; the Fitbit HR was moderately valid in peak and mean HR compared to the Polar HR system. These results are promising for those who own wearable technology and are using it to monitor HR during physical activities such as pickleball doubles. We acknowledge our small sample size and admit that further investigation of the validity of wearable technology on physiological measures during pickleball and other racket sports is warranted.