Concurrent Validity of Wearable Activity Trackers Under Free-Living Conditions

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Brooke, SM, An, H-S, Kang, S-K, Noble, JM, Berg, KE, and Lee, J-M. Concurrent validity of wearable activity trackers under free-living conditions. J Strength Cond Res 31(4): 1097–1106, 2017—The purpose of this study is to evaluate the concurrent validity of wearable activity trackers in energy expenditure (EE) and sleep period time (SPT) under free-living conditions. Ninety-five (28.5 ± 9.8 years) healthy men (n = 34) and women (n = 61) participated in this study. The total EE and SPT were measured using 8 monitors: Nike+ FuelBand SE (NFB), Garmin VivoFit (VF), Misfit Shine (MF), Fitbit Flex (FF), Jawbone UP (JU), Polar Loop (PL), Fitbit Charge HR (FC), and SenseWear Armband Mini (SWA) (criterion measures: SWA for EE and a sleep log for SPT). The mean absolute percent error (MAPE) for EE was 13.0, 15.2, 15.5, 16.1, 16.2, 22.8, and 24.5% for PL, MF, FF, NFB, FC, JU, and VF, respectively. Mean absolute percent errors were calculated for SPT to be 4.0, 8.8, 10.2, 11.5, 12.9, 13.6, 17.5, and 21.61% for VF, FF, JU, FC, MF, SWA laying down, PL, and SWA, respectively. Concurrent validity was examined using equivalence testing on EE (equivalence zone: 2,889.7–3,531.9 kcal); 2 trackers fell short of falling in the zone: PL (2,714.4–3,164.8 kcal) and FC (2,473.8–3,066.5 kcal). For SPT (equivalence zone: 420.6–514.0 minutes), several monitors fell in the zone: PL (448.3–485.6 minutes), MS (442.8–492.2 minutes), and FF (427.7–486.7 minutes). This study suggests that the PL and FC provide a reasonable estimate of EE under free-living conditions. The PL, FC, and MF were the most valid monitors used for measuring SPT.

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