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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of wearable device interventions (eg, Fitbit) to improve physical activity (PA) outcomes (eg, steps/day, moderate to vigorous physical activity [MVPA]) in populations diagnosed with cardiometabolic chronic disease. DATA SOURCE: Based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, an electronic search of 5 databases (Medline, PsychINFO, Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed) was conducted. STUDY INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published between January 2000 and May 2018 that used a wearable device for the full intervention in adults (18+) diagnosed with a cardiometabolic chronic disease were included. Excluded trials included studies that used devices at pre-post only, devices that administered medication, and interventions with no prospective control group comparison. DATA EXTRACTION: Thirty-five studies examining 4528 participants met the inclusion criteria. Study quality and RCT risk of bias were assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration Tool. DATA SYNTHESIS: Meta-analyses to compute PA (eg, steps/day) and selected physical dispersion and summary effects were conducted using the raw unstandardized pooled mean difference (MD). Sensitivity analyses were examined. RESULTS: Statistically significant increases in PA steps/day (MD = 2592 steps/day; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1689-3496) and MVPA min/wk (MD = 36.31 min/wk; 95% CI: 18.33-54.29) were found for the intervention condition. CONCLUSION: Wearable devices positively impact physical health in clinical populations with cardiometabolic diseases. Future research using the most current technologies (eg, Fitbit) will serve to amplify these findings.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Health Promot

Publication Date





778 - 791


cardiovascular disease, chronic disease, diabetes, obesity, physical activity, wearable technology, Cardiovascular Diseases, Chronic Disease, Comorbidity, Exercise, Humans, Quality of Life, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Wearable Electronic Devices