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Do Wearable Fitness Devices Correlate With Performance-Based Tests of Work-Related Functional Capacity Open Access


Other title
Wearable Fitness Devices
Functional Capacity
Performance Based Tests
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Karpman, Jesse
Supervisor and department
Gross, Doug (Physical Therapy)
Examining committee member and department
Manns, Patricia (Physical Therapy)
Tomkins-Lane, Christy (Health and Physical Education, Mount Royal)
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Rehabilitation Science
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
The purposes of this study were to: (1) Determine the magnitude and direction of correlation between participant performance on five exercises taken from a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) and scores from Actigraph activity monitors; and (2) Compare the results of two different placements of Actigraph devices. We used a cross-sectional design and convenience sampling to collect data from 46 healthy participants. Each participant completed five exercises while equipped with two Actigraph devices, one worn on the dominant side waist and one on the non-dominant wrist. The exercises included were 5-repetition maximum lifting (floor-to-waist, overhead and front carry), a sustained overhead work endurance task, and the 6-minute walk test. Analysis included calculating Pearson regression coefficients between maximum exercise performance and Actigraph vector magnitudes along with Intraclass Correlation Coefficients to compare the two Actigraph placements. Forty (86.9%) participants had complete data and were included in analysis. Participants were predominantly young (x=23.73), male (54.30%). Findings indicate Actigraph vector magnitude data from the device worn on the waist correlated positively (r =0.39-0.64, p <0.001 to 0.08) with maximum lift performance and the 6-minute walk test distance (r =0.66, p <0.001). Actigraph data from wrist placement was not significantly correlated with FCE items except when comparing average vector magnitude data and waist to crown lift (r =0.44, p <0.001). There was no significant correlation in either Actigraph placement for vector magnitudes and overhead work time. Intraclass correlation coefficients between the two Actigraph placements ranged from poor to acceptable agreement (ICC =0.24-0.70, p < 0.001 to 0.19). We conclude that Actigraph device output correlated moderately with maximum performance on FCE lift and ambulation tests. Waist placement appears more suitable than wrist during performance-based tests. Actigraph devices may be useful during FCE evaluations and add another quantitative indicator of performance.
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