Criterion validity of wearable monitors and smartphone applications to measure physical activity energy expenditure in adolescents

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Adamakis, Manolis
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Springer Nature Switzerland AG
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Purpose: This study examined the criterion validity of one research-based, one GPS and two consumer-based monitors, as well as six freeware Android apps (three pedometer- and three GPS-based apps) in a sample of healthy adolescents, during self-paced outdoor walking and running. Methods: Twenty-one adolescents (15.9 ± 2.0 years) participated in this cross-sectional study. They walked and ran a distance of 1.2 km for each trial. They were fitted with SenseWear Armband Pro 3, Garmin Forerunner 310XT, Garmin Vivofit, Medisana Vifit, and smartphones running the Runkeeper, Runtastic, Sports Tracker, Pedometer, Accupedo, Pedometer and Pedometer 2.0 apps. Estimation of PAEE was compared to measurement from indirect calorimetry. Repeated measures ANOVA, mean absolute percentage errors and Bland–Altman plots assessed accuracy and proportional bias. Results: PAEE estimates from all monitors and apps showed large individual errors, ranging from 13.16% for walking (Runtastic) to 37.46% for running (Vifit). For group-level differences, Forerunner, Runkeeper, Runtastic and Accupedo significantly underestimated PAEE for walking, and SenseWear, Forerunner, Runkeeper, Vifit and Pedometer significantly underestimated PAEE for running. Conclusion: Based on individual errors, none of the monitors and apps tested was accurate for estimating PAEE in adolescents. The only app that had an acceptable error was Runtastic during running. These monitors and apps are not suitable as research measurement tools for recording precise and accurate PAEE estimates.
Energy expenditure , GPS , Pedometer , Physical activity measurement , Physical activity monitor , Smartphone app , Wearable technology
Adamakis, M. (2020) 'Criterion validity of wearable monitors and smartphone applications to measure physical activity energy expenditure in adolescents', Sport Sciences for Health. doi: 10.1007/s11332-020-00654-2
© 2020, Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Sport Sciences for Health. The final authenticated version is available online at: