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Feasibility and Utility of a Fitbit Tracker Among Ambulatory Children and Youth With Disabilities.

Authors
  • Bremer, Emily1
  • Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Kelly P2
  • Tsui, Brianna3
  • Ginis, Kathleen A Martin4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Moore, Sarah A9, 10, 11
  • Best, Krista L12, 13
  • Voss, Christine14
  • 1 School of Kinesiology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 4 Department of Medicine, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 5 Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 6 Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 7 School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 8 International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 9 Faculty of Health, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 10 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 11 Healthy Populations Institute, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 12 Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (Cirris), Quebec City, QC,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 13 Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec, QC,Canada. , (Canada)
  • 14 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC,Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pediatric exercise science
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2023
Volume
35
Issue
4
Pages
249–257
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1123/pes.2022-0121
PMID: 37236617
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To examine the feasibility and utility of the Fitbit Charge HR to estimate physical activity among ambulatory children and youth with disabilities. Participants (4-17 y old) with disabilities were recruited and asked to wear a Fitbit for 28 days. Feasibility was assessed as the number of participants who adhered to the 28-day protocol. Heat maps were generated to visually examine variability in step count by age, gender, and disability group. Between-group differences for wear time and step counts by age, gender, and disability type were assessed by independent sample t tests for gender and disability group, and a 1-way analysis of variance for age group. Participants (N = 157; median age = 10 y; 71% boys; 71% nonphysical disabilities) averaged 21 valid days of wear time. Wear time was higher in girls than boys (mean difference = 18.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.8 to 29.1), and in preadolescents (mean difference = 27.6; 95% CI, 15.5 to 39.7) and adolescents (mean difference = -21.2; 95% CI, -33.6 to -8.7) than children. More daily steps were taken by boys than girls (mean difference = -1040; 95% CI, -1465 to -615) and individuals with a nonphysical disability than a physical disability (mean difference = -1120; 95% CI, -1474 to -765). The heat maps showed peaks in physical activity on weekdays before school, at recess, lunchtime, and after school. The Fitbit is a feasible tool for monitoring physical activity among ambulatory children and youth with disabilities and may be useful for population-level surveillance and intervention.

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