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Effect of interventions using physical activity trackers on physical activity in people aged 60 years and over: a systematic review and meta-analysis [with consumer summary]
Oliveira JS, Sherrington C, Zheng ERY, Rodrigues Franco M, Tiedemann A
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019 Aug 9:Epub ahead of print
systematic review

BACKGROUND: Older people are at high risk of physical inactivity. Activity trackers can facilitate physical activity. We aimed to investigate the effect of interventions using activity trackers on physical activity, mobility, quality of life and mental health among people aged 60+ years. METHODS: For this systematic review, we searched eight databases, including Medline, Embase and CENTRAL from inception to April 2018. Randomised controlled trials of interventions that used activity trackers to promote physical activity among people aged 60+ years were included in the analyses. The study protocol was registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42017065250. RESULTS: We identified 23 eligible trials. Interventions using activity trackers had a moderate effect on physical activity (23 studies; standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.55; 95% CI 0.40 to 0.70; I2 = 86%) and increased steps/day by 1558 (95% CI 1099 to 2018 steps/day; I2 = 92%) compared with usual care, no intervention and wait-list control. Longer duration activity tracker-based interventions were more effective than short duration interventions (18 studies, SMD 0.70; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.93 versus 5 studies, SMD 0.14; 95% CI -0.26 to 0.54, p for comparison = 0.02). Interventions that used activity trackers improved mobility (three studies; SMD 0.61; 95% CI 0.31 to 0.90; I2 = 10%), but not quality of life (nine studies; SMD 0.09; 95% CI -0.07 to 0.25; I2 = 45%). Only one trial included mental health outcomes and it reported similar effects of the activity tracker intervention compared with control. CONCLUSIONS: Interventions using activity trackers improve physical activity levels and mobility among older people compared with control. However, the impact of activity tracker interventions on quality of life, and mental health is unknown.
Reproduced with permission from the BMJ Publishing Group.

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