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Article Title

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TWO COMMONLY WORN WRIST ACTIVITY MONITORS

Abstract

T.D. Kidman, B. Thomas, M. Higdon, T, Johansen, D.E. Lankford

Brigham Young University – Idaho, Rexburg, ID

Wrist worn activity monitors are becoming increasingly popular and are useful in helping users to be aware of their physical activity levels. These activity monitors are advertised as being accurate in recording both steps taken and distance traveled. Many different brands of these monitors are on the market and each one uses slightly different technology. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of two popular brands of common wrist worn activity monitors during jogging and walking, as well as other daily activities including typing, driving, and pushing a shopping cart. METHODS: 60 subjects from age 18-65 were recruited for the study. 30 subjects completed a walk and jog test, and 30 subjects completed a driving, typing, and cart test. Two popular brands of wrist worn activity monitors were tested for comparative purposes. Each subject wore both brand monitors on both the dominant hand (D) and non-dominant (ND) hands for each test. Walk test: participants were asked to perform 30 minutes of walking at a self-selected pace on an indoor track. Jog test: participants were asked to perform 30 minutes of jogging at a self-selected pace on an indoor track. Driving test: participants completed a 5 minute computer simulated driving test. Typing test: participants completed a 5 minute typing test. Cart test: participants pushed a cart around an indoor gym for 5 minutes. Following each test, distance and step data from the wrist monitors were compared to the actual steps taken and actual distances traveled. A 2-way factorial ANOVA was used to compare hand (D vs. ND) vs. device (Brand 1 vs. Brand 2). Data are expressed as actual – observed. RESULTS: In all tests there were no significant differences in data between D and ND. Therefore data are displayed for ND only. Walk test steps: Brand 1 = 190.1 ± 309.4 steps, Brand 2 = -74.7 ± 185.3 steps (p < 0.001). Walk test distance: Brand 1 = 0.11 ± 0.27 miles, Brand 2 = 0.03 ± 0.24 miles (p = 0.60). Jog test steps: Brand 1 = -67.0 ± 420.6 steps, Brand 2 = -105.1 ± 409.1 steps (p = 0.99). Jog test distance: Brand 1 = -0.57 ± 0.70 miles, Brand 2 = -0.25 ± 0.37 miles (p = 0.07). Driving test steps: Brand 1 = -25.5 ± 40.1 steps, Brand 2 = -3.1 ± 8.05 steps (p = 0.05). Drive test distance: Brand 1 = -0.01 ± 0.02 miles, Brand 2 = -0.00 ± 0.004 miles (p = .06). Cart test steps: Brand 1 = 315.1 ± 265.5 steps, Brand 2 = 384.7 ± 211.4 steps (p = 0.64). Cart test distance: Brand 1 = 0.15 ± 0.29 miles, Brand 2 = 0.19 ± 0.23 miles (p = 0.90). Typing Tests: 0 steps and 0 miles distance traveled were measured by both brands during the typing test. CONCLUSION: Daily living activities influence the displayed activity rates of different brand wrist monitors. Therefore data should be used with caution when comparing one brand to another

Grant Support: Icon Health and Fitness

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