Steps per Day Measured by Consumer Activity Trackers Worn at the Non-Dominant and Dominant Wrist Relative to a Waist-Worn Pedometer

in Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour
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Purpose: To compare steps counts recorded by consumer activity trackers when worn on the non-dominant and dominant wrist against a waist-worn pedometer during free-living. Methods: 30 participants wore six consumer wrist-worn physical activity trackers and a pedometer. On day 1, three trackers were worn on the non-dominant wrist (ND) and three on the dominant (D) wrist. On day 2 trackers were worn on the opposite wrist. On both days, a pedometer (New-Lifestyles NL-800) was worn at the waist. Mean absolute percent error (MAPE) and the Bland-Altman method assessed tracker agreement with the pedometer. Repeated measures ANOVA examined whether MAPEs were significantly different between wrist trackers (i.e., brand comparison) and between wrist location (i.e., non-dominant vs. dominant). Results: MAPEs were higher for the D wrist trackers. Five out of six trackers on the D wrist over-counted, while four out of six trackers on the ND wrist under-counted. MAPE errors were significant (p ≤ .001) between trackers but not across wrist location (p > .05). Fitbit Flex_ND, Mi Band_ND and D, Garmin Vivofit3_D and Jawbone UP24_D had a mean bias of <500 steps. 95% limits of agreement were narrowest for Mi Band_ND. Conclusions: Tracker agreement with the waist-worn pedometer varied widely but trackers on the ND wrist had better agreement. The Mi Band was the most comparable to the pedometer.

Edwardson, Davies, Khunti, Yates, and Rowlands are with the Diabetes Research Centre; Edwardson, Davies, Yates, and Rowlands are also with the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre; Davies and Khunti are also with the Leicester Diabetes Centre; Khunti is also with NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands; Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, United Kingdom. Rowlands is also with the Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition, and Activity (ARENA), Division of Health Sciences, Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Edwardson (ce95@le.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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