Exploring families’ acceptance of wearable activity trackers: a mixed-methods study
journal contributionposted on 16.03.2022, 14:45 by Amy CreaserAmy Creaser, Jennifer Hall, Silvia CostaSilvia Costa, Daniel Bingham, Stacy ClemesStacy Clemes
Background: The family environment plays a crucial role in child physical activity (PA). Wearable activity trackers (wearables) show potential for increasing children’s PA; however, few studies have explored families’ acceptance of wearables. This study investigated the acceptability of using wearables in a family setting, aligning experiences with components of the Technology Acceptance Model and Theoretical Domains Framework. Methods: Twenty-four families, with children aged 5–9 years, took part in a 5-week study, where all members were provided with a Fitbit Alta HR for 4 weeks. Acceptability was measured using weekly surveys and pre-post-questionnaires. Nineteen families participated in a focus group. Quantitative and qualitative data were integrated using the Pillar Integration Process technique. Results: Pillars reflected (1) external variables impacting wearable use and PA and (2) wearable use, (3) ease of use, (4) usefulness for increasing PA and other health outcomes, (5) attitudes, and (6) intention to use a wearable, including future intervention suggestions. Conclusions: Families found the Fitbit easy to use and acceptable, but use varied, and perceived impact on PA were mixed, with external variables contributing towards this. This study provides insights into how wearables may be integrated into family-based PA interventions and highlights barriers and facilitators of family wearable use.
This study is funded as part of a Ph.D. studentship by the Born in Bradford study. The Born in Bradford study receives core infrastructure funding from the Wellcome Trust (WT101597MA) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), under its NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber (NIHR200166) and Clinical Research Network (CRN) research delivery support. For this piece of work, funding from the Sport England’s Local Delivery Pilot awarded Born in Bradford funding for this Ph.D. studentship. S.A.C. is supported by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre—Lifestyle theme.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences