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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2009 Nov 4;6:73. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-6-73.

Global positioning system: a new opportunity in physical activity measurement.

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1
Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. r.maddison@ctru.auckland.ac.nz.

Abstract

Accurate measurement of physical activity is a pre-requisite to monitor population physical activity levels and design effective interventions. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology offers potential to improve the measurement of physical activity. This paper 1) reviews the extant literature on the application of GPS to monitor human movement, with a particular emphasis on free-living physical activity, 2) discusses issues associated with GPS use, and 3) provides recommendations for future research. Overall findings show that GPS is a useful tool to augment our understanding of physical activity by providing the context (location) of the activity and used together with Geographical Information Systems can provide some insight into how people interact with the environment. However, no studies have shown that GPS alone is a reliable and valid measure of physical activity.

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