- Use of accelerometer/pedometer-only and commercial health wearable-only were the most effective at reducing body weight in comparison with the other groups.
- Multicomponent accelerometer/pedometer and commercial health wearable-only interventions were the most effective at reducing body mass index in comparison to the other groups.
Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)
Being overweight remains a significant public health challenge, of which physical inactivity is a major contributor. Physical activity wearables have the potential to encourage physical activity; however, there is a lack of evidence pointing to the most effective method. As a result, the goal of this study was to perform a systemic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effect of health wearable-based physical activity interventions on body mass index (BMI) and bodyweight reduction in overweight/obese individuals with chronic health conditions.
Of 641 screened records, 31 studies (2268 patients) from December 2019 to September 2020 were included in the analysis. Included studies met the following criteria: participants were overweight/obese and/or had at least one chronic comorbidity and studied the effect of health-wearable interventions on weight or BMI. The six comparison groups included four wearable interventions, one comparison group (non-health wearable physical activity) and control group (usual care, waitlist). Network geometry and network meta-analysis were used to compare the effect of each intervention on the primary outcome.
Results stated that the commercial health-wearable only and the accelerometer/pedometer-only groups were most effective at reducing bodyweight compared with the control. With respect to BMI reduction, commercial health wearable-only and multicomponent accelerometer/pedometer interventions were found to be most effective. One of the key strengths of this study was its use of strict criteria which allowed for a homogenous sample. However, due to insufficient direct comparisons available to assess BMI reduction, the results for this outcome must be interpreted with caution. As a whole, these results suggest that the use of health wearable-based physical activity interventions may help achieve modest bodyweight and/or BMI reductions.
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