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Parental perspectives of a wearable activity tracker for children younger than 13 years: acceptability and usability study

Mackintosh, Kelly A, Chappel, Stephanie E., Salmon, Jo, Timperio, Anna, Ball, Kylie, Brown, Helen, Macfarlane, Susie and Ridgers, Nicola D 2019, Parental perspectives of a wearable activity tracker for children younger than 13 years: acceptability and usability study, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, vol. 7, no. 11, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.2196/13858.

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Title Parental perspectives of a wearable activity tracker for children younger than 13 years: acceptability and usability study
Author(s) Mackintosh, Kelly A
Chappel, Stephanie E.ORCID iD for Chappel, Stephanie E. orcid.org/0000-0001-6559-8929
Salmon, JoORCID iD for Salmon, Jo orcid.org/0000-0002-4734-6354
Timperio, AnnaORCID iD for Timperio, Anna orcid.org/0000-0002-8773-5012
Ball, KylieORCID iD for Ball, Kylie orcid.org/0000-0003-2893-8415
Brown, HelenORCID iD for Brown, Helen orcid.org/0000-0002-5460-3654
Macfarlane, SusieORCID iD for Macfarlane, Susie orcid.org/0000-0002-8904-8945
Ridgers, Nicola DORCID iD for Ridgers, Nicola D orcid.org/0000-0001-5713-3515
Journal name JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Volume number 7
Issue number 11
Article ID e13858
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher JMIR
Place of publication Toronto, Canada
Publication date 2019-11
ISSN 2291-5222
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Health Care Sciences & Services
Medical Informatics
mobile applications
physical activity
child
monitoring
ambulatory
wearable electronic devices
2016 REPORT CARD
PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY INTERVENTION
TECHNOLOGIES
MOBILE
HEALTH
monitoring, ambulatory
Summary Background: There is increasing availability of, and interest in, wearable activity trackers for children younger than 13 years. However, little is known about how children and parents use these activity trackers or perceive their acceptability. Objective: This study primarily aimed to ascertain parental perspectives on the acceptability and usability of wearables designed to monitor children's physical activity levels. Secondary aims were to (1) identify practical considerations for future use in physical activity interventions and promotion initiatives; (2) determine use of different features and functions incorporated into the accompanying app; and (3) identify parents' awareness of their child's current physical activity levels. Methods: In total, 36 children (18 boys and 18 girls) aged 7-12 years were asked to wear a wrist-worn activity tracker (KidFit) for 4 consecutive weeks and to use the accompanying app with parental assistance and guidance. Each week, one parent from each family (n=25; 21 mothers and 4 fathers) completed a Web-based survey to record their child's activity tracker use, app interaction, and overall experiences. At the end of the 4-week period, a subsample of 10 parents (all mothers) participated in face-to-face interviews exploring perceptions of the acceptability and usability of wearable activity trackers and accompanying apps. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed descriptively and thematically, respectively. Thematic data are presented using pen profiles, which were constructed from verbatim transcripts. Results: Parents reported that they and their children typically found the associated app easy to use for activity tracking, though only step or distance information was generally accessed and some difficulties interpreting the data were reported. Children were frustrated with not being able to access real-time feedback, as the features and functions were only available through the app, which was typically accessed by, or in the presence of, parents. Parents identified that children wanted additional functions including a visual display to track and self-monitor activity, access to the app for goal setting, and the option of undertaking challenges against schools or significant others. Other barriers to the use of wearable activity trackers included discomfort of wearing the monitor because of the design and the inability to wear for water- or contact-based sports. Conclusions: Most parents reported that the wearable activity tracker was easy for their child or children to use and a useful tool for tracking their children's daily activity. However, several barriers were identified, which may impact sustained use over time; both the functionality and wearability of the activity tracker should therefore be considered. Overall, wearable activity trackers for children have the potential to be integrated into targeted physical activity promotion initiatives.
Language eng
DOI 10.2196/13858
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30131360

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.