Research Study Abstract

Device-Based Monitoring in Physical Activity and Public Health Research

  • Published on November 2012

Measurement of physical activity is important, given the vital role of this behavior in physical and mental health. Over the past quarter of a century, the use of small, non-invasive, wearable monitors to assess physical activity has become commonplace. This review is divided into three sections. In the first section, a brief history of physical activity monitoring is provided, along with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of different devices. In the second section, recent applications of physical activity monitoring in physical activity and public health research are discussed. Wearable monitors are being used to conduct surveillance, and to determine the extent and distribution of physical activity and sedentary behaviors in populations around the world. They have been used to help clarify the dose–response relation between physical activity and health. Wearable monitors that provide feedback to users have also been used in longitudinal interventions to motivate research participants and to assess their compliance with program goals. In the third section, future directions for research in physical activity monitoring are discussed. It is likely that new developments in wearable monitors will lead to greater accuracy and improved ease-of-use.

Link to Abstract:


Physiological Measurement