Content » Vol 47, Issue 9

Original report

Capturing step counts at slow walking speeds in older adults: Comparison of ankle and waist placement of measuring device

Lisa A. Simpson, Janice J. Eng, Tara D. Klassen , Shannon B. Lim , Dennis R. Louie , Beena Parappilly, Brodie M. Sakakibara, Dominik Zbogar
Rehabilitation Science, University of British Columbia, Canada

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1993

Abstract

Objective: It is important for older adults to be physically active, but many older adults walk slowly. This study examined the accuracy of a commercially available step-count device (Fitbit One) at slow speeds and compared the accuracy of the device when worn at the ankle and waist in older adults.
Methods: The Fitbit One was placed at the ankle and waist of participants (n=42; mean age 73 years) while they performed walking trials at 7 different speeds (0.3–0.9 m/s). Step counts obtained from video recordings were used as the gold standard comparison to determine the accuracy of the device.
Results: The ankle-worn device had significantly less error than the waist-worn device at all speeds. The percentage error of the ankle-worn device was less than 10% at speeds of 0.4–0.9 m/s and did not record zero steps at any speed. The percentage error of the waist-worn device was below 10% at only the 2 fastest speeds (0.8 and 0.9 m/s) and recorded zero steps for numerous participants at speeds of 0.3–0.5 m/s.
Conclusion: The Fitbit One can accurately capture steps at slow speeds when placed at the ankle and thus may be appropriate for capturing physical activity in slow-walking older adults.

Lay Abstract

Comments

Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.