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Review

The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Effectiveness of Wearable Activity Trackers for Increasing Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

1
School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
2
Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Bradford BD9 6RJ, UK
3
Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and University of Leicester, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK
4
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University, Geelong 3125, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ryan D. Burns and Wonwoo Byun
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126211
Received: 13 April 2021 / Revised: 3 June 2021 / Accepted: 6 June 2021 / Published: 8 June 2021
Wearable activity trackers (wearables) embed numerous behaviour change techniques (BCTs) that have previously been shown to increase adult physical activity (PA). With few children and adolescents achieving PA guidelines, it is crucial to explore ways to increase their PA. This systematic review examined the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of wearables and their potential mechanisms of action for increasing PA in 5 to 19-year-olds. A systematic search of six databases was conducted, including data from the start date of each database to December 2019 (PROSPERO registration: CRD42020164506). Thirty-three studies were included. Most studies (70%) included only adolescents (10 to 19 years). There was some—but largely mixed—evidence that wearables increase steps and moderate-to-vigorous-intensity PA and reduce sedentary behaviour. There were no apparent differences in effectiveness based on the number of BCTs used and between studies using a wearable alone or as part of a multi-component intervention. Qualitative findings suggested wearables increased motivation to be physically active via self-monitoring, goal setting, feedback, and competition. However, children and adolescents reported technical difficulties and a novelty effect when using wearables, which may impact wearables’ long-term use. More rigorous and long-term studies investigating the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of wearables in 5 to 19-year-olds are warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; systematic review; feasibility; interventions; wearable activity trackers; children; adolescents physical activity; systematic review; feasibility; interventions; wearable activity trackers; children; adolescents
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MDPI and ACS Style

Creaser, A.V.; Clemes, S.A.; Costa, S.; Hall, J.; Ridgers, N.D.; Barber, S.E.; Bingham, D.D. The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Effectiveness of Wearable Activity Trackers for Increasing Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6211. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126211

AMA Style

Creaser AV, Clemes SA, Costa S, Hall J, Ridgers ND, Barber SE, Bingham DD. The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Effectiveness of Wearable Activity Trackers for Increasing Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(12):6211. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126211

Chicago/Turabian Style

Creaser, Amy V., Stacy A. Clemes, Silvia Costa, Jennifer Hall, Nicola D. Ridgers, Sally E. Barber, and Daniel D. Bingham 2021. "The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Effectiveness of Wearable Activity Trackers for Increasing Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 12: 6211. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126211

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