Analysis of the Behavioral Change and Utility Features of Electronic Activity Monitors

Zakkoyya H. Lewis, Maddison Cannon, Grace Rubio, Maria C. Swartz, Elizabeth J. Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to perform a content analysis of electronic activity monitors that also evaluates utility features, code behavior change techniques included in the monitoring systems, and align the results with intervention functions of the Behaviour Change Wheel program planning model to facilitate informed device selection. Devices were coded for the implemented behavior change techniques and device features. Three trained coders each wore a monitor for at least 1 week from December 2019–April 2020. Apple Watch Nike, Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Ionic—Adidas Edition, Garmin Vivomove HR, Garmin Vivosmart 4, Amazfit Bip, Galaxy Watch Active, and Withings Steel HR were reviewed. The monitors all paired with a phone/tablet, tracked exercise sessions, and were wrist-worn. On average, the monitors implemented 27 behavior change techniques each. Fitbit devices implemented the most behavior change techniques, including techniques related to the intervention functions: education, enablement, environmental restructuring, coercion, incentivization, modeling, and persuasion. Garmin devices implemented the second highest number of behavior change techniques, including techniques related to enablement, environmental restructuring, and training. Researchers can use these results to guide selection of electronic activity monitors based on their research needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number75
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • activity tracker
  • behavior change technique
  • physical activity
  • wearable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)


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