In September of this year Dutch researchers published a scientific paper in Obesity on the effect of activity trackers. In this extensive literature review, the main conclusion is that interventions with trackers seem to result in more physical activity among people with obesity. However, there are insufficient studies that substantiate claims that fitness trackers themselves spur on physical activity. Furthermore, they find that the researched tracker is often outdated long before any study is published.
Herman de Vries, the first author of the paper, executed the research as part of his Master’s programme at the University of Utrecht. De Vries contacted QSI to collaborate in this research and teamed up with Thea Kooiman, a remedial therapist and PhD student at Hanze UAS. In addition, Hanze UAS / QSI researchers dr. Miriam van Ittersum and dr. Martijn de Groot, and dr. Marco van Brussel of the University of Utrecht got involved. After completing their systematic review on activity monitors and physical activity in 2015 they decided to improve the study and to submit it to a scientific journal. Their research ‘Do activity monitors increase physical activity in adults with overweight or obesity? A systematic review and meta-analysis’ was eventually published in Obesity, a renowned journal in the field of obesity studies.