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activity-tracker-wristband-researchLately I’ve noticed that more and more of my physical therapy patients are wearing activity tracker wristbands.

Devices like Jawbone and FitBit.

You may have seen them too…

Or maybe you OWN one.

Today I came across a journal article that examines the automated feedback provided by these devices and the behavior change techniques associated with them.

The research paper is titled: Behavior Change Techniques Implemented in Electronic Lifestyle Activity Monitors: A Systematic Content Analysis

If you are deeply interested in the topic I’d suggest you have a look at the research (just click the link above).

But if you are interested to know more about these wristband devices – things like

  • What they do

and

  • How they work

Then check out my summary of the findings…

Wristband Activity Devices: Summary of Findings

1. Several Behavioral Change Techniques (BCTs) are used by these devices including things like self-monitoring, adding objects to the environment, feedback provision, and goal-setting.

2. These BCTs are “evidence-based” (supported by research as being efficacious… in other words – the scientific community gives them a thumbs up).

3. Even though it’s great that these devices utilize valid behavior change techniques – what’s most important is that the features of the device you choose match YOUR preferences and needs.

So if you like to swim – make sure the device is waterproof. And if you get motivated by social sharing – then make sure the device supports that function.

4. And if you are involved in a physical therapy program – then an activity tracker might help you get better outcomes. “Electronic activity monitors have the potential to significantly improve objective measurement of physical activity for people with chronic diseases and disabilities who receive physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other types of rehabilitation services.”