Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2024) 23, 79 - 96   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2024.79

Research article
Criterion-Related Validity of Consumer-Wearable Activity Trackers for Estimating Steps in Primary Schoolchildren under Controlled Conditions: Fit-Person Study
Daniel Mayorga-Vega1, Carolina Casado-Robles2, Santiago Guijarro-Romero3, , Jesús Viciana2
Author Information
1 Departamento de Didáctica de las Lenguas, las Artes y el Deporte, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación, Universidad de Málaga, Málaga, Spain
2 Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
3 Department of Didactic of Musical, Plastic and Corporal Expression, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain

Santiago Guijarro-Romero
✉ Department of Didactic of Musical, Plastic and Corporal Expression, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Valladolid, Paseo de Belén, 1, 47011, Valladolid, Spain
Email: santigr93@gmail.com
Publish Date
Received: 23-10-2023
Accepted: 12-12-2023
Published (online): 01-03-2024
 
 
ABSTRACT

The purposes were to examine the criterion-related validity of the steps estimated by consumer-wearable activity trackers (wrist-worn activity trackers: Fitbit Ace 2, Garmin Vivofit Jr, and Xiomi Mi Band 5; smartphone applications: Pedometer, Pedometer Pacer Health, and Google Fit/Apple Health) and their comparability in primary schoolchildren under controlled conditions. An initial sample of 66 primary schoolchildren (final sample = 56; 46.4% females), aged 9-12 years old (mean = 10.4 ± 1.0 years), wore three wrist-worn activity trackers (Fitbit Ace 2, Garmin Vivofit Jr 2, and Xiaomi Mi Band 5) on their non-dominant wrist and had three applications in two smartphones (Pedometer, Pedometer Pacer Health, and Google Fit/Apple Health for Android/iOS installed in Samsung Galaxy S20+/iPhone 11 Pro Max) in simulated front trouser pockets. Primary schoolchildren’s steps estimated by the consumer-wearable activity trackers and the video-based counting independently by two researchers (gold standard) were recorded while they performed a 200-meter course in slow, normal and brisk pace walking, and running conditions. Results showed that the criterion-related validity of the step scores estimated by the three Samsung applications and the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 were good-excellent in the four walking/running conditions (e.g., MAPE = 0.6-2.3%; lower 95% CI of the ICC = 0.81-0.99), as well as being comparable. However, the Apple applications, Fitbit Ace 2, and Xiaomi Mi Band 5 showed poor criterion-related validity and comparability on some walking/running conditions (e.g., lower 95% CI of the ICC < 0.70). Although, as in real life primary schoolchildren also place their smartphones in other parts (e.g., schoolbags, hands or even somewhere away from the body), the criterion-related validity of the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 potentially would be considerably higher than that of the Samsung applications. The findings of the present study highlight the potential of the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 for monitoring primary schoolchildren’s steps under controlled conditions.

Key words: Validation, wrist-worn activity trackers, smartphone applications, step counts, children, laboratory conditions


           Key Points
  • The PA applications Pedometer, Pedometer Pacer Health, and Google Fit for Android and the wrist-worn activity tracker Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 showed good-excellent criterion-related validity for estimating steps in primary schoolchildren under controlled conditions.
  • The PA applications Pedometer, Pedometer Pacer Health, and Google Fit for Android and the wrist-worn activity tracker Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 were comparable for estimating steps in primary schoolchildren under controlled conditions.
  • The Apple applications and the wrist-worn activity trackers Fitbit Ace 2 and Xiaomi Mi Band 5 have not shown an acceptable criterion-related validity for estimating steps, as well as not being comparable, on some walking/running conditions.
  • Since in real life primary schoolchildren also place their smartphones in other places (e.g., schoolbags, hands or even somewhere away from the body), the criterion-related validity of the Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 potentially would be considerably higher than that of the Samsung applications.
 
 
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