The validation of Fibit Zip™ physical activity monitor as a measure of free-living physical activity

BMC Res Notes. 2014 Dec 23:7:952. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-952.


Background: The new generation of activity monitors allow users to upload their data to the internet and review progress. The aim of this study is to validate the Fitbit Zip as a measure of free-living physical activity.

Findings: Participants wore a Fitbit Zip, ActiGraph GT3X accelerometer and a Yamax CW700 pedometer for seven days. Participants were asked their opinion on the utility of the Fitbit Zip. Validity was assessed by comparing the output using Spearman's rank correlation coefficients, Wilcoxon signed rank tests and Bland-Altman plots. 59.5% (25/47) of the cohort were female. There was a high correlation in steps/day between the Fitbit Zip and the two reference devices (r = 0.91, p < 0.001). No statistically significant difference between the Fitbit and Yamax steps/day was observed (Median (IQR) 7477 (3597) vs 6774 (3851); p = 0.11). The Fitbit measured significantly more steps/day than the Actigraph (7477 (3597) vs 6774 (3851); p < 0.001). Bland-Altman plots revealed no systematic differences between the devices.

Conclusions: Given the high level of correlation and no apparent systematic biases in the Bland Altman plots, the use of Fitbit Zip as a measure of physical activity. However the Fitbit Zip recorded a significantly higher number of steps per day than the Actigraph.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry / instrumentation
  • Actigraphy / instrumentation
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Telemetry / instrumentation*
  • Walking
  • Young Adult