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Jeffer Eidi Sasaki, Amanda Hickey, Marianna Mavilia, Jacquelynne Tedesco, Dinesh John, Sarah Kozey Keadle and Patty S. Freedson


The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of the Fitbit wireless activity tracker in assessing energy expenditure (EE) for different activities.


Twenty participants (10 males, 10 females) wore the Fitbit Classic wireless activity tracker on the hip and the Oxycon Mobile portable metabolic system (criterion). Participants performed walking and running trials on a treadmill and a simulated free-living activity routine. Paired t tests were used to test for differences between estimated (Fitbit) and criterion (Oxycon) kcals for each of the activities.


Mean bias for estimated energy expenditure for all activities was −4.5 ± 1.0 kcals/6 min (95% limits of agreement: −25.2 to 15.8 kcals/6 min). The Fitbit significantly underestimated EE for cycling, laundry, raking, treadmill (TM) 3 mph at 5% grade, ascent/descent stairs, and TM 4 mph at 5% grade, and significantly overestimated EE for carrying groceries. Energy expenditure estimated by the Fitbit was not significantly different than EE calculated from the Oxycon Mobile for 9 activities.


The Fitbit worn on the hip significantly underestimates EE of activities. The variability in underestimation of EE for the different activities may be problematic for weight loss management applications since accurate EE estimates are important for tracking/monitoring energy deficit.

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Alexander H.K. Montoye, John Vusich, John Mitrzyk and Matt Wiersma

Improvements in technology, increased ownership of smartphones, and commercialization of wearable activity monitors has led to increased interest in personal physical activity (PA) assessment in recent years. For example, Fitbit (Fitbit Inc., San Francisco, CA), a leader in the consumer-based PA

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Matthieu Dagenais, Nancy M. Salbach, Dina Brooks and Kelly K. O’Brien

and pedometers, have been used to measure physical activity in the form of time spent in moderate or vigorous physical activity, energy expenditure, sedentary time, steps taken, and distance walked among adults living with HIV. 24 – 27 The Fitbit ® (Fitbit Inc, San Francisco, CA) is one type of WPAM

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Joseph M. Stock, Ryan T. Pohlig, Matthew J. Botieri, David G. Edwards and Gregory M. Dominick

provision ( Evenson, Goto, & Furberg, 2015 ). As such, the potential for utilizing wearable activity monitors in clinical and research settings is promising. To date, Fitbit remains the most popular brand of consumer-based wearable activity monitors, with approximately 23.2 million active users worldwide

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Nicolas Farina and Ruth G. Lowry

such monitors in free-living conditions ( Paul et al., 2015 ). Paul and colleagues did determine the validity of a single device (Fitbit) worn in a single location (waist). However, as previously identified, the validity of consumer-level activity monitors is likely to vary depending on bodily location

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Kathryn J. DeShaw, Laura Ellingson, Yang Bai, Jeni Lansing, Maria Perez and Greg Welk

To advance research on physical activity (PA) it is essential to study behavior under free-living conditions and to standardize methods for assessing validity. An overwhelming array of wrist-worn consumer activity monitors are now available to researchers interested in this line of research (e.g., Fitbit

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Rebekah Lynn, Rebekah Pfitzer, Rebecca R. Rogers, Christopher G. Ballmann, Tyler D. Williams and Mallory R. Marshall

wrist worn-devices studied during 2.5 miles per hour (mph; 4.0 km/hr), 3.5 mph (5.6 km/hr), and free-walking tasks ( Gaz et al., 2018 ). Furthermore, Fitbit Charge HR placed sixth out of six devices in step-counting accuracy out of all devices in 2.5 mph (4.0 km/hr), 3.5 mph (5.6 km/hr), and free

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Alexander H.K. Montoye, Jordana Dahmen, Nigel Campbell and Christopher P. Connolly

-pregnant and pregnant populations. However, despite frequent use of PA monitors such as Fitbit in investigations involving pregnant women ( Choi, Lee, Vittinghoff, & Fukuoka, 2016 ; Huberty, Buman, Leiferman, Bushar, & Adams, 2016 ), few studies have actually validated such PA monitors for use in this

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Marianne I. Clark and Holly Thorpe

understandings ( van der Tuin, 2014 ). Therefore, our somewhat experimental and continuously evolving methodology, which we describe in greater detail below, was undertaken as a way to explore the possibilities for new, unpredictable understandings of the Fitbit–motherhood entanglement to emerge. The approach to

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Christopher P. Connolly, Jordana Dahmen, Robert D. Catena, Nigel Campbell and Alexander H.K. Montoye

.4) 89.9 (13.1) 105.6 (6.4) *Significant difference between second and third trimester participants, p  < .05. Physical Activity Monitors Five physical activity monitors were used within the current study. Consumer-grade monitors included the OM, NL, and the Fitbit Flex (FF). The OM and NL are