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Perceptions of Physical Activity Tracking Devices: A Survey Analysis

Selen Razon, Alex Wallace, Jorge Ballesteros, Nicole Koontz, Lawrence W. Judge, Alexander H.K. Montoye


Most adults fail to meet recommended physical activity (PA) guidelines. PA tracking technologies may help increase activity because they facilitate self-monitoring and self-regulation. In response to recent calls for testing the effectiveness of these technologies, this study surveyed opinions of Fitbit users within a university setting. Participants (N = 371, Mage = 31.3, SD = 14.4) responded to an online survey that gauged perceived usefulness and adoption of Fitbit. Analyses revealed that 97.3% of the respondents used Fitbit to track PA, while others did it to track heart rate or to compete against others. The majority of respondents (80.9%) reported increased PA levels as a result of Fitbit use, and 63.5% reported Fitbit had a very positive impact on their health. Most respondents (88.1%) also reported they liked using Fitbit. With regard to continued use, a portion of respondents (67.7%) reported intentions for continued use to increase PA in the future. Respondents’ reported satisfaction with Fitbit use was significantly associated with the perceived usefulness of Fitbit’s mobile application, perceived impact of Fitbit on health, and intentions for future use (p < .001). Qualitative analysis revealed three major themes: (1) criticism related to use, (2) positive comments related to use, and (3) comments related to mobile application. Results suggest that novel advances, such as Fitbit, could hold unique potentials to improve PA behaviors.

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Calories; Fitness; Pedometer; Steps

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