Validity of a Global Positioning System-Based Algorithm and Consumer Wearables for Classifying Active Trips in Children and Adults.
DOI: 10.1123/jmpb.2021-0019; PMCID: PMC9555805
Objective: To investigate the convergent validity of a global positioning system (GPS)-based and two consumer-based measures with trip logs for classifying pedestrian, cycling, and vehicle trips in children and adults.
Methods: Participants (N = 34) wore a Qstarz GPS tracker, Fitbit Alta, and Garmin vivosmart 3 on multiple days and logged their outdoor pedestrian, cycling, and vehicle trips. Logged trips were compared with device-measured trips using the Personal Activity Location Measurement System (PALMS) GPS-based algorithms, Fitbit's SmartTrack, and Garmin's Move IQ. Trip- and day-level agreement were tested.
Results: The PALMS identified and correctly classified the mode of 75.6%, 94.5%, and 96.9% of pedestrian, cycling, and vehicle trips (84.5% of active trips, F1 = 0.84 and 0.87) as compared with the log. Fitbit and Garmin identified and correctly classified the mode of 26.8% and 17.8% (22.6% of active trips, F1 = 0.40 and 0.30) and 46.3% and 43.8% (45.2% of active trips, F1 = 0.58 and 0.59) of pedestrian and cycling trips. Garmin was more prone to false positives (false trips not logged). Day-level agreement for PALMS and Garmin versus logs was favorable across trip modes, though PALMS performed best. Fitbit significantly underestimated daily cycling. Results were similar but slightly less favorable for children than adults.
Conclusions: The PALMS showed good convergent validity in children and adults and were about 50% and 27% more accurate than Fitbit and Garmin (based on F1). Empirically-based recommendations for improving PALMS' pedestrian classification are provided. Since the consumer devices capture both indoor and outdoor walking/running and cycling, they are less appropriate for trip-based research.
J Meas Phys Behav
Garmin; cycling; fitbit; transportation; walking
Steel C, Crist K, Grimes A, et al. Validity of a Global Positioning System-Based Algorithm and Consumer Wearables for Classifying Active Trips in Children and Adults. J Meas Phys Behav. 2021;4(4):321-332. doi:10.1123/jmpb.2021-0019