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Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Introduction: Wearable technologies play an important contemporary role in the measurement of physical activity (PA) and promotion of human health across the lifespan, including for young people (i.e., children, adolescents, and young adults). As new objective wearable technologies continue to develop, standardized approaches to documenting validation parameters (i.e., measures of accuracy, precision, and bias) are needed to ensure confidence and comparability in step-defined PA. Purpose: To produce validity parameters for step counting wearable technologies during treadmill walking in young people 6-20 years of age Methods: 120 participants completed 5-minute treadmill bouts from13.4 to 134.1 m·min-1. Participants wore eight technologies (two at the arm/wrist, four at the waist, one on the thigh, and one on the ankle) while steps were directly observed. Speed, wear location, and age -specific measures of accuracy (mean absolute percent error; MAPE), precision (correlation coefficient, standard deviation; SD, coefficient of variation; CoV), and bias (percent error; PE) were computed and cataloged. Results: Speed and wear location had a significant effect on accuracy and bias measures for wearable technologies (pConclusion: While the analyses indicate the significance of speed and wear location on wearable technology performance, the useful and comprehensive validity reference values cataloged herein will help optimize measurement of PA in youth. Future research should continue to rigorously validate new wearable technologies as they are developed, and also extend these standardized reference values developed in the laboratory to the free-living environment.


First Advisor

Catrine Tudor-Locke

Included in

Public Health Commons