Effect and feasibility of wearable physical activity trackers and pedometers for increasing physical activity and improving health outcomes in cancer survivors : A systematic review and meta-analysis

Journal article


Singh, Benjamin, Zopf, Eva M. and Howden, Erin J.. (2022). Effect and feasibility of wearable physical activity trackers and pedometers for increasing physical activity and improving health outcomes in cancer survivors : A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 11(2), pp. 184-193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2021.07.008
AuthorsSingh, Benjamin, Zopf, Eva M. and Howden, Erin J.
Abstract

Purpose
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effect of wearable devices for improving physical activity and health-related outcomes in cancer survivors.

Methods
CINAHL, Cochrane, Ebscohost, MEDLINE, Pubmed, ProQuest Health and Medical Complete, ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Source, ScienceDirect, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched for randomized controlled trials published before September 1, 2020, that evaluated interventions involving wearable devices in cancer survivors. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) were calculated to assess effects on physical activity and health-related outcomes. Subgroup analyses were conducted to assess whether the effects differed by interventions and cancer characteristics. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool.

Results
Thirty-five trials were included (breast cancer, n = 15, 43%). Intervention durations ranged between 4 weeks and 1 year. Most trials (n = 25, 71%) involved pedometer-based physical activity interventions. Seven (20%) involved Fitbit-based interventions, and 3 (9%) involved other wearable physical activity trackers (e.g., Polar, Garmin). Compared to usual care, wearable devices had moderate-to-large effects (SMD range 0.54−0.87, p < 0.001) on moderate-intensity physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity, total physical activity, and daily steps. Compared to usual care, those in the intervention had higher quality of life, aerobic fitness, physical function, and reduced fatigue (SMD range = 0.18−0.66, all p < 0.05).

Conclusion
Wearable physical activity trackers and pedometers are effective tools that increase physical activity and improve health-related outcomes in individuals with cancer. Identifying how these devices can be implemented for longer-term use with other intervention components remains an area for future research.

Graphical abstract

Keywordsactivity tracker; cancer; exercise; physical activity; wearable
Year2022
JournalJournal of Sport and Health Science
Journal citation11 (2), pp. 184-193
PublisherElsevier BV
ISSN2095-2546
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2021.07.008
PubMed ID34314878
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85113300091
PubMed Central IDPMC9068515
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range184-193
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online24 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted24 Jun 2021
Deposited20 Feb 2023
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