Validity of wearable activity monitors for tracking steps and estimating energy expenditure during a graded maximal treadmill test

Bradley Kendall, Bryanne Bellovary, Neha P. Gothe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy of energy expenditure (EE) estimation and step tracking abilities of six activity monitors (AMs) in relation to indirect calorimetry and hand counted steps and assess the accuracy of the AMs between high and low fit individuals in order to assess the impact of exercise intensity. Fifty participants wore the Basis watch, Fitbit Flex, Polar FT7, Jawbone, Omron pedometer, and Actigraph during a maximal graded treadmill test. Correlations, intra-class correlations, and t-tests determined accuracy and agreement between AMs and criterions. The results indicate that the Omron, Fitbit, and Actigraph were accurate for measuring steps while the Basis and Jawbone significantly underestimated steps. All AMs were significantly correlated with indirect calorimetry, however, no devices showed agreement (p < .05). When comparing low and high fit groups, correlations between AMs and indirect calorimetry improved for the low fit group, suggesting AMs may be better at measuring EE at lower intensity exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

Keywords

  • Fitness trackers
  • estimated energy expenditure
  • high intensity
  • maximal exercise
  • step tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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