Activity tracker accuracy contest launched by scientists

Posted by ap507 at Sep 28, 2016 11:21 AM |
Researchers in Leicester have launched a hunt to find the most accurate physical activity tracker

Issued by the Leicester Diabetes Centre on 28 September

Researchers in Leicester have launched a hunt to find the most accurate physical activity tracker.

Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, Polar Loop and some cheaper devices are all going head-to-head in the study being carried out by the University of Leicester’s Diabetes Research Centre based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre.

The project aims to test the accuracy of several leading consumer physical activity trackers for measuring exercise, particularly the number of steps taken per day.

It comes as a response to the recent explosion in commercial wearable activity trackers, with a reported six million people in the UK now owning a device which enables tracking of steps, moderate activity, calories and sleep.

The new consumer products originate from research grade activity monitors known as accelerometers, which have been used in studies for a number of years.

Dr Charlotte Edwardson, an Associate Professor in Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health at the University of Leicester’s Diabetes Research Centre, is leading the research. 

She said: “Despite the popularity of these new activity trackers, there is very little research on the accuracy of these trackers for measuring outputs such as steps taken per day.

“We aim to test the accuracy of several popular consumer activity trackers devices for measuring the number of steps recorded each day. We will test this against a highly-validated traditional waist worn pedometer. ”

“The results from this study will help us to understand how accurate the new consumer wearable physical activity trackers are. For example, how much they are underestimating or overestimating the number of steps someone takes per day in comparison to a traditional waist worn pedometer as well as whether cheap trackers perform as well as the more expensive ones.”

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation led by Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

Notes to editors

  • For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk
  • The Diabetes Research Centre is based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre.
  • The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.
  • Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, the Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, working with the city and county Clinical Commissioning Groups. It is a leading applied health research unit committed to improving the lives and care of people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.
  • For more information about the Leicester Diabetes Centre, visit http://www.leicesterdiabetescentre.org.uk.

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