The Accuracy of Technology in Its Assessment of Physical Activity and Its Effect on an Individual's Behavior: A Case Study
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGiven the obesity epidemic, it is essential to find effective ways to modify behavior and reduce associated long-term health issues. Mobile technology is being used to provide feedback to individuals about both activity and consumption, but accuracy and effectiveness are still unclear. In this study, accuracy of the popular Fit Bit device was assessed along with correlations to behavioral changes. Initial calibration of steps taken, distance traveled on a track and on a treadmill, calories burned and floors climbed revealed errors of 0.5%, 12%, 26%, 21.3% and 0% respectively, indicating the Fit Bit is a reasonable tool for assessing activity in relative terms and providing feedback to users. Three subjects then utilized Fit Bits for 28 days to gain insight into whether technology-based feedback can affect behavior. Over the study, there was an average decrease in calories consumed, body weight, and percent body fat. The correlation between calories burned, activity score, and rating of perceived exertion suggested accuracy in subjects’ self-assessment of physical activity. No correlation was found between rating of perceived consumption and calories consumed suggesting inaccuracy in self-assessing consumption and/or that external factors were involved. In sum, this technology appears promising for providing individualized feedback to optimize health.
Degree ProgramHonors College