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Gait Posture. 2016 Jul;48:36-41. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.04.025. Epub 2016 Apr 30.

Validity of FitBit, Jawbone UP, Nike+ and other wearable devices for level and stair walking.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China. Electronic address: pshull@sjtu.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increased physical activity can provide numerous health benefits. The relationship between physical activity and health assumes reliable activity measurements including step count and distance traveled. This study assessed step count and distance accuracy for Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP 24, Fitbit One, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit Zip, Garmin Vivofit, Yamax CW-701, and Omron HJ-321 during level, upstairs, and downstairs walking in healthy adults.

METHODS:

Forty subjects walked on flat ground (400m), upstairs (176 steps), and downstairs (176 steps), and a subset of 10 subjects performed treadmill walking trials to assess the influence of walking speed on accuracy. Activity monitor measured step count and distance values were compared with actual step count (determined from video recordings) and distance to determine accuracy.

RESULTS:

For level walking, step count errors in Yamax CW-701, Fitbit Zip, Fitbit One, Omron HJ-321, and Jawbone UP 24 were within 1% and distance errors in Fitbit Zip and Yamax CW-701 were within 5%. Garmin Vivofit and Omron HJ-321 were the most accurate in estimating step count for stairs with errors less than 4%. An important finding is that all activity monitors overestimated distance for stair walking by at least 45%.

CONCLUSION:

In general, there were not accuracy differences among activity monitors for stair walking. Accuracy did not change between moderate and fast walking speeds, though slow walking increased errors for some activity monitors. Nike+ FuelBand was the least accurate step count estimator during all walking tasks. Caution should be taken when interpreting step count and distance estimates for activities involving stairs.

KEYWORDS:

Accelerometers; Pedometers; Physical activity; Validation

PMID:
27477705
DOI:
10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.04.025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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