Tracking physical activity: Problems related to running longitudinal studies with commercial devices

Daniel Harrison*, Paul Marshall, Nadia Berthouze, Jon Bird

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The problems with inactive and sedentary lifestyles are widely recognised. People believe that activity tracking systems, such as the Fitbit, may aid them in meeting recommended levels of physical activity. Similar systems have been the subject of previous research, but many of these studies were conducted over a short-term and some results may be attributable to reactivity or novelty effects. We ran a longitudinal mixed-methods effectiveness study using the Fitbit Zip activity tracker with 50 participants. In this paper we present two main challenges experienced during this study: the unreliability of the device and a lack of engagement by some of the participants. The issues we experienced can help inform the design of future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUbiComp 2014 - Adjunct Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages699-702
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450330473
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp 2014 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 13 Sep 201417 Sep 2014

Conference

Conference2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp 2014
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle
Period13/09/1417/09/14

Keywords

  • Activity tracker
  • Behaviour change
  • Fitbit
  • Fitness
  • Health
  • In the wild
  • Pedometer
  • Personal device
  • Physical activity
  • Quantified self

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  • Cite this

    Harrison, D., Marshall, P., Berthouze, N., & Bird, J. (2014). Tracking physical activity: Problems related to running longitudinal studies with commercial devices. In UbiComp 2014 - Adjunct Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (pp. 699-702). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/2638728.2641320