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Because wearable technology is ubiquitous, it is important to determine validity and reliability not only in a laboratory setting, but applied environments where the general population utilizes the devices. The purpose of this study was to 1) determine intra-rater reliability of visual step count outdoors, 2) determine validity of commercially available wearable technology devices in this setting, and 3) report test-retest reliability of commercial devices during hiking and trail running. Individuals (N = 20) completed 5-min hikes and trail runs on a 200-m section of trail while wearing the following devices: Fitbit Surge 2, Garmin Vivosmart HR+, Leaf Health Tracker, Polar A360, Samsung Gear 2, Spire Activity Tracker, and Stryd Power Meter. Intra-rater reliability and test-retest reliability was determined through Intraclass Correlation (ICC), while validity was determined via Bland-Altman analysis (limits of agreement; LoA), mean average percentage error (MAPE), and ICC. Significance was accepted at the p < .05 level. Steps determined by two independent counters were significantly reliable for the hike (ICC = 0.993, p < 0.001) and trail run (ICC = 0.991, p < 0.001). Three devices were valid across both exercise types and all methods of validity: Garmin Vivosmart HR+ (MAPE = 5.4%, ICC = 0.815, LoA = −58.1 to 50.4), Leaf Health Tracker (MAPE = 8.4%, ICC = 0.816, LoA = −78.8 to 39.4), and Stryd Power Meter (MAPE = 4.7%, ICC = 0.799, LoA = −34.3 to 78.9). As only certain devices returned valid step measurements, continued testing in applied environments are needed to have confidence in utilizing technology to track health and activity goals.

Navalta, Montes, Bodell, Aguilar, Lujan, Guzman, and Kam are with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Manning and DeBeliso are with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Outdoor Recreation, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT.

Navalta (james.navalta@unlv.edu) is corresponding author.
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