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Research letter
Self-regulated use of a wearable activity sensor is not associated with improvements in physical activity, cardiometabolic risk or subjective health status
  1. Saurabh S Thosar1,
  2. Meike Niederhausen2,
  3. Jodi Lapidus2,
  4. Nora F Fino2,
  5. Joaquin Cigarroa3,
  6. Jessica Minnier2,
  7. Sandra Colner4,
  8. Asha Nayak4,
  9. Luke J Burchill3
  1. 1Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  2. 2Biostatistics and Design Program, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  3. 3Knight Cardiovascular Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  4. 4Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Luke J Burchill, Knight Cardiovascular Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA; burchilu{at}ohsu.edu

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Introduction

Physical activity (PA) trackers are a pervasive feature of modern life. It is expected that by 2020, sales of wearable devices will reach approximately 300 million users1 many with the intention of increasing activity by tracking daily step count and other measures of PA. We assessed whether self-regulated use of a commercial PA tracker without prescribed goals improved (1) PA, (2) cardiometabolic (CM) risk factors or (3) subjective health status (SHS).

Methods

We recruited 431 healthy, mostly white (59%) male (61%) volunteers aged 41±9 years (mean±SD), body mass index (BMI) 28±6 kg/m2 (23.6% obese) from a common worksite in North America to wear a commercial PA tracker for 6 months. Behaviour and PA change goals were not prescribed. Participants did not receive any compensation but kept the PA tracker at study completion. The wrist-worn PA tracker (Basis Peak) incorporated standard technology including an optical sensor and 3-axes accelerometer and was synchronised to participants’ mobile devices enabling them to follow their PA. Raw accelerometer data from the PA tracker was collected and compiled by …

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