These shoes are made for walking: sensitivity performance evaluation of commercial activity monitors under the expected conditions and circumstances required to achieve the international daily step goal of 10,000 steps
Ó Laighin, Gearóid
Quinlan, Leo R.
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O’Connell S, ÓLaighin G, Kelly L, Murphy E, Beirne S, Burke N, et al. (2016) These Shoes Are Made for Walking: Sensitivity Performance Evaluation of Commercial Activity Monitors under the Expected Conditions and Circumstances Required to Achieve the International Daily Step Goal of 10,000 Steps. PLoS ONE 11(5): e0154956. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154956
IntroductionPhysical activity is a vitally important part of a healthy lifestyle, and is of major benefit to both physical and mental health. A daily step count of 10,000 steps is recommended globally to achieve an appropriate level of physical activity. Accurate quantification of physical activity during conditions reflecting those needed to achieve the recommended daily step count of 10,000 steps is essential. As such, we aimed to assess four commercial activity monitors for their sensitivity/accuracy in a prescribed walking route that reflects a range of surfaces that would typically be used to achieve the recommended daily step count, in two types of footwear expected to be used throughout the day when aiming to achieve the recommended daily step count, and in a timeframe required to do so.MethodsFour commercial activity monitors were worn simultaneously by participants ( n = 15) during a prescribed walking route reflective of surfaces typically encountered while achieving the daily recommended 10,000 steps. Activity monitors tested were the Garmin Vivofit (TM), New Lifestyles' NL-2000 (TM) pedometer, Withings Smart Activity Monitor Tracker ( Pulse O-2)(TM), and Fitbit One (TM).ResultsAll activity monitors tested were accurate in their step detection over the variety of different surfaces tested (natural lawn grass, gravel, ceramic tile, tarmacadam/asphalt, linoleum), when wearing both running shoes and hard-soled dress shoes.ConclusionAll activity monitors tested were accurate in their step detection sensitivity and are valid monitors for physical activity quantification over the variety of different surfaces tested, when wearing both running shoes and hard-soled dress shoes, and over a timeframe necessary for accumulating the recommended daily step count of 10,000 steps. However, it is important to consider the accuracy of activity monitors, particularly when physical activity in the form of stepping activities is prescribed as an intervention in the treatment or prevention of a disease state.