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Currently submitted to: JMIR mHealth and uHealth

Date Submitted: Feb 19, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Feb 19, 2020 - Apr 15, 2020
(currently open for review)

Warning: This is an author submission that is not peer-reviewed or edited. Preprints - unless they show as "accepted" - should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

Validity of the Wrist-wearable Activity Devices for Estimating Physical Activity in Adolescents: A Comparative Study

  • Yingying Hao; 
  • Xiao-Kai Ma; 
  • Zheng Zhu; 
  • Zhen-Bo Cao; 



The rapid advancements in science and technology of wrist-wearable activity devices offer considerable potential for clinical applications. Self-monitoring of one’s physical activity (PA) with activity devices is helpful to improve the PA levels of adolescents. However, knowing the accuracy of activity devices in adolescents is necessary to identify current levels of PA and to assess the effectiveness of intervention programs designed to increase PA.


The study aimed to determine the validity of the eleven commercially available wrist-wearable activity devices for monitoring total steps and total 24-h total energy expenditure (TEE) in healthy adolescents under simulated free-living conditions.


Nineteen (10 male and 9 female) participants aged 14-18 years performed a 24-hour activity cycle in a Metabolic Chamber. Each participant simultaneously wore eleven commercially wrist-wearable activity devices [XiaoMi Band2 (XiaoMi), Huawei B2 (Huawei), Bong2s, Amazfit, Fitbit Flex (Fitbit), Jawbone Up3 (Jawbone), Misfit Shine2 (Misfit), Golife Care-X (Golife), Withings Pulse O2 (Withings), Garmin Vivofit (Garmin) and Polar Loop (Polar)] and one research-based triaxial accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X+). Criterion measures were total EE from the Metabolic Chamber (mcTEE) and total steps from the ActiGraph GT3X+ (AGsteps).


Pearson’s correlation coefficients (r) for 24-h TEE ranged from 0.78 (Misfit, Amazfit) to 0.96 (Polar) and for steps ranged from 0.20 (Golife) to 0.57 (Garmin). Mean Absolute Percent Error (MAPE) for TEE ranged from 5.7% (XiaoMi) to 26.4% (Amazfit) and for steps ranged from14.2% (Bong2s) to 27.6% (Polar). TEE estimates from the XiaoMi, Jawbone, Garmin and Bong2s were equivalent with mcTEE. Total steps from Bong2s was equivalent with AGsteps.


Overall, the Bong2s had the best accuracy for estimating TEE and total steps under simulated free-living conditions. Further research is needed to examine the validity of these devices in different types of physical activities under real-world conditions.


Please cite as:

Hao Y, Ma X, Zhu Z, Cao Z

Validity of the Wrist-wearable Activity Devices for Estimating Physical Activity in Adolescents: A Comparative Study

JMIR Preprints. 19/02/2020:18320

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.18320


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