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Consumer-Based Wearable Activity Trackers Increase Physical Activity Participation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


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Brickwood, KJ, Watson, G ORCID: 0000-0002-3438-0203, O'Brien, J ORCID: 0000-0002-6504-8422 and Williams, AD ORCID: 0000-0001-8863-3491 2019 , 'Consumer-Based Wearable Activity Trackers Increase Physical Activity Participation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis' , JMIR mHealth and uHealth, vol. 7, no. 4 , pp. 1-20 , doi: 10.2196/11819.

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Background: The range of benefits associated with regular physical activity participation is irrefutable. Despite the well-knownbenefits, physical inactivity remains one of the major contributing factors to ill-health throughout industrialized countries.Traditional lifestyle interventions such as group education or telephone counseling are effective at increasing physical activityparticipation; however, physical activity levels tend to decline over time. Consumer-based wearable activity trackers that allowusers to objectively monitor activity levels are now widely available and may offer an alternative method for assisting individualsto remain physically active.Objective: This review aimed to determine the effects of interventions utilizing consumer-based wearable activity trackers onphysical activity participation and sedentary behavior when compared with interventions that do not utilize activity trackerfeedback.Methods: A systematic review was performed searching the following databases for studies that included the use of aconsumer-based wearable activity tracker to improve physical activity participation: Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials,MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, SPORTDiscus, andHealth Technology Assessments. Controlled trials of adults comparing the use of a consumer-based wearable activity trackerwith other nonactivity tracker–based interventions were included. The main outcome measures were physical activity participationand sedentary behavior. All studies were assessed for risk of bias, and the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development,and Evaluation system was used to rank the quality of evidence. The guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for SystematicReviews and Meta-Analyses statement were followed. A random-effects meta-analysis was completed on the included outcomemeasures to estimate the treatment effect of interventions that included an activity tracker compared with a control group.Results: There was a significant increase in daily step count (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.24; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.33;PConclusions: Utilizing a consumer-based wearable activity tracker as either the primary component of an intervention or aspart of a broader physical activity intervention has the potential to increase physical activity participation. As the effects of physicalactivity interventions are often short term, the inclusion of a consumer-based wearable activity tracker may provide an effectivetool to assist health professionals to provide ongoing monitoring and support.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Brickwood, KJ and Watson, G and O'Brien, J and Williams, AD
Keywords: exercise; fitness trackers; telemedicine; meta-analysis
Journal or Publication Title: JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Publisher: JMIR Publications Inc.
ISSN: 2291-5222
DOI / ID Number: 10.2196/11819
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Katie-Jane Brickwood, Greig Watson, Jane O'Brien, Andrew D. Williams. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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