A feasibility study of wearable activity monitors for pre-adolescent school-age children

Sara E. Schaefer, Marta Van Loan, J. Bruce German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Introduction: Understanding physical activity is key in the fight against childhood obesity. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility of using certain wearable devices to measure physical activity among children. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted with 25 children aged 7 to 10 years to assess acceptability and compliance of wearable activity devices in this age group. During March through August 2012, children participated in a 4-week study of 3 accelerometer models and a heart rate monitor. Children were asked to use a different device each week for 7 consecutive days. Children and their parents completed structured interviews after using each device; they also completed a final exit interview. Results: The wrist-worn Polar Active was the device most preferred by children and was associated with the highest level of compliance. Devices that are comfortable to wear, fit properly, have engaging features, and are waterproof increase feasibility and are associated with higher levels of compliance. Conclusion: The wrist-worn device was the most feasible for measuring physical activity among children aged 7 to 10 years. These findings will inform researchers in selecting tools for measuring children's physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130262
JournalPreventing chronic disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


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