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Background: Getting enough sleep, exercising and limiting sedentary activities can greatly contribute to disease prevention and overall health and longevity. Measuring the full 24-hour activity cycle – sleep, sedentary behavior (SED), light intensity physical activity (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) – may now be feasible using small wearable devices.
Purpose: This study compares nine devices for accuracy in 24-hour activity measurement.
Methods: Adults (N=40, 47% male) wore nine devices for 24-hours: Actigraph GT3X+, activPAL, Fitbit One, GENEactiv, Jawbone Up, LUMOback, Nike Fuelband, Omron pedometer, and Z-Machine. Comparisons (to standards) were made for total sleep time (Z-machine), time spent in SED (activPAL), LPA (GT3x+), MVPA (GT3x+), and steps (Omron). Analysis included mean absolute percent error, equivalence testing, and Bland-Altman plots.
Results: Error rates ranged from 8.1-16.9% for sleep; 9.5-65.8% for SED; 19.7-28.0% for LPA; 51.8-92% for MVPA; and 14.1-29.9% for steps. Equivalence testing indicated only two comparisons were significantly equivalent to standards: the LUMOback for sedentary behavior and the GT3X+ for sleep. Bland-Altman plots indicated GT3X+ had the closest measurement for sleep, LUMOback for sedentary behavior, GENEactiv for LPA, Fitbit for MVPA and GT3X+ for steps.
Conclusions: Currently, no device accurately captures activity data across the entire 24-hour day, but the future of activity measurement should aim for accurate 24-hour measurement as a goal. Researchers should continue to select measurement devices based on their primary outcomes of interest.