eCite Digital Repository

Older adults' experiences of using a wearable activity tracker with health professional feedback over a 12-month randomised controlled trial


Brickwood, K-J and Williams, AD and Watson, G and O'Brien, J, Older adults' experiences of using a wearable activity tracker with health professional feedback over a 12-month randomised controlled trial, Digital Health, 6 pp. 1-13. ISSN 2055-2076 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1177/2055207620921678


Objective:Wearable activity trackers can help older adults remain physically active. However, knowledge of the user experience during long-term use is scarce. Therefore, this study examined older adults' experiences with, and perceptions of, wearable activity trackers combined with health professional feedback after a year's use as part of a randomised controlled trial.

Methods: Twenty older adults (73.6 5.5 years) who had used a Jawbone UP24 activity tracker for 12 months during a randomised controlled trial were recruited for this study. All participants had at least one chronic condition. Acceptability data relating to activity tracker wear time was combined with focus group data to explore participants experiences of longterm activity tracker use. Data was analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The activity tracker was well-accepted with the device worn on an average of 86% of possible days and participants reported an overall positive experience. Four themes were identified: (a) increased sense of awareness of activity levels is related to motivation; (b) the level of engagement with the activity tracker influences the user experience; (c) the role of feedback from a health professional in providing ongoing support; d) the role of habits in supporting long-term behaviour change.

Conclusions: The use of an activity tracker combined with health professional support can assist older adults to maintain their activity levels over 12 months. Consideration should be given to the previous technology experience of users and the design and accuracy of an activity tracker when recommending their use in a research or clinical setting.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:physical activity, wearables, telemedicine, older adults
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Brickwood, K-J (Dr Katie-Jane Brickwood)
UTAS Author:Williams, AD (Associate Professor Andrew Williams)
UTAS Author:Watson, G (Dr Greig Watson)
UTAS Author:O'Brien, J (Dr Jane O'Brien)
ID Code:141780
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2020-11-18
Last Modified:2022-08-23
Downloads:21 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page