Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Dixie L, Thompson

Committee Members

David R. Bassett, Jr., Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Paul C. Erwin


Accelerometer-based activity monitors are commonly used to measure physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE). Newly designed wrist and hip-worn triaxial accelerometers claim to accurately predict PAEE across a range of activities. Purpose: To determine if the Nike FuelBand (NFB), Fitbit (FB) and ActiGraph GT3X+ (AG) estimate PAEE in various activities. Methods: 21 healthy, college-aged adults wore a NFB on the right wrist, a FB on the left hip, and AG on the right hip, while performing 17 activities. AG data were analyzed using Freedson’s kcal regression equation. PAEE was measured using the Cosmed K4b2 (K4). Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to compare mean differences in PAEE (kcal/min). Paired sample t-tests with Bonferroni adjustments were used to locate significant differences. Results: For each device, the mean difference in PAEE was significantly different from the K4 (NFB, -0.45 + 2.8, FB, 0.48 + 2.27, AG, 0.64 + 2.59 kcal/min, p = 0.01). The NFB significantly overestimated most walking activities (e.g., regular walking; K4, 3.1 + 0.2 vs. NFB, 4.6 + 0.2 kcal/min) and activities with arm movements (e.g., sweeping; K4, 3.0 + 0.8 vs. NFB, 4.7 + 0.4 kcal/min, p < 0.05). The NFB trended towards overestimating sport activities (basketball; K4, 10.8 + 0.8 vs. NFB, 12.2 + 0.5 kcal/min) (racquetball; K4, 9.6 + 0.8 vs. NFB 11.1 + 0.5 kcal/min). The FB and the AG significantly overestimated walking (K4, 3.1 + 0.2; FB, 5.4 + 0.3, AG, 5.8 + 0.4 kcal/min, p = 0.01) and underestimated PAEE of most activities with arm movements (e.g., Air Dyne, K4 5.6 + 0.2; Fitbit, 0.3 + 0.2; AG, 0.2 + 0.1 kcal/min, p < 0.05) (racquetball, K4, 9.6 + 0.8 kcal/minute vs. FB, 7.4 + 0.6 kcal/minute, vs. AG, 6.5 + 0.4 kcal/minute, p < 0.05). Conclusion: The NFB overestimated PAEE during most activities with arm movements and tended to overestimate sport activities, while the AG and FB overestimated walking and underestimated activities with arm movements. Overall, the wrist-worn NFB had similar accuracy to the waist-worn triaxial accelerometers; however, none of the devices were able to estimate PAEE across a range of activities.

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