The Validity of Consumer-Level Activity Monitors in Healthy Older Adults in Free-Living Conditions

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Consumer-level activity monitors, such as Fitbit and Misfit devices, are a popular and low-cost means of measuring physical activity. This study aims to compare the accuracy of step counts from two consumer-level activity monitors against two reference devices in healthy, community-dwelling older adults in free-living conditions. Twenty-five older adults (aged 65–84) simultaneously wore 5 devices (e.g., Misfit Shine and Fitbit Charge HR) over 7 consecutive days. All consumer-level activity monitors positively correlated with reference devices (p < .001). There was also substantial to near perfect agreement between all consumer-level activity monitors and reference devices. Compared to the ActiGraph GT3X+, the waist-worn Misfit Shine displayed the highest agreement amongst the devices worn (ICC = 0.96, 95% 0.91 to 0.99). The wrist-worn devices showed poorer agreement to reference devices. Future research needs to consider that not all consumer-level activity monitors are equal in terms of accuracy, design, and function.

Farina is with the Centre for Dementia Studies, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, Sussex, United Kingdom. Lowry is with the Dept. of Sport & Exercise Sciences, University of Chichester, Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom.

Address author correspondence to Nicolas Farina at N.Farina@bsms.ac.uk.
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