• Study Reveals Smartphone Apps Are As Good As Fitness Wearables for Step Tracking



    If you’re search for the best way to automatically log your daily activity, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania shows that you may only need to look at the App Store. Data collected by dedicated wearables is generally no more accurate than the data from the smartphone in your pocket. A medical student from UPenn and the lead study author, Meredith A. Case, BA,, had the following to say regarding the matter:

    In this study, we wanted to address one of the challenges with using wearable devices: they must be accurate," said Penn medical student and lead study author Meredith A. Case, BA. "After all, if a device is going to be effective at monitoring — and potentially changing — behavior, individuals have to be able to trust the data. We found that smartphone apps are just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity.
    Researchers loaded 14 participants up with 6 wearable devices to gather data. The devices included; a Digi-Walker SW-200 pedometer, Fitbit’s Zip and One clip-on trackers and Flex wristband, Jawbone’s UP 24, and Nike’s Fuelband. In addition to this, an iPhone 5s sat in one of the pockets running the FitBit app, Withing’s Health mate app and ProtoGeo Oy’s Moves app, while a Samsung Galaxy S4 was in the other pocket running Moves on Android. Each of the participants was then asked to walk on a treadmill at 3 miles per hour, twice each for 500 steps and 1,500 steps.

    The data collected from the smartphone apps had a range of -6.7% to 6.2% relative difference from the number of steps researchers observed the participants were taking while the wearables came in with a range of -22.7% to -1.5%. The data from Nike’s Fuelband was surprisingly very off at times while Jawbone’s Up 24 and Fitbit’s Flex came in with the second and third deviations, respectively. Turns out the Fitbit’s Zip and Fitbit One were both nearly perfect in terms of the wearables.

    The Cupertino California company offered its own solution to the mix with both the iPhone 5S and the more recent iPhone 6 lineup both contain built-in M-series motion coprocessors which reportedly monitor device motion and feed step data to the iOS Health app constantly. The results for the iPhone fell into a more accurate range respectively.

    With Apple boasting about its health and fitness capabilities, features for both are set to debut as part of the upcoming Apple Watch as well. The Apple Watch is said to include a built-in accelerometer for tracking steps and total body movements. Looks like Apple may soon be taking over another market with its iOS devices as well. We’ll have to wait and see what future tests reveal.

    Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Study Reveals Smartphone Apps Are As Good As Fitness Wearables for Step Tracking started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. TechAlex's Avatar
      TechAlex -
      I have the Iphone 6+ , and I have been using an app called "Stepz" , I dont think I need to get any other device to keep me motivated to move.Attachment 695849
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      Looks like the Nike Fuelband needs some serious work.
    1. raptorjr's Avatar
      raptorjr -
      If you use the phone for this, does it drain much more battery?
    1. TechAlex's Avatar
      TechAlex -
      Quote Originally Posted by raptorjr View Post
      If you use the phone for this, does it drain much more battery?
      I dont see any difference in battery usage, that is the beauty of the Iphone.
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