Development and feasibility of a wearable infant wrist band for the objective measurement of physical activity using accelerometery.

16 May 2018

Background: It is important to be able to reliably and feasibly measure infant and toddler physical activity in order to determine adherence to current physical activity guidelines and effects on early life development, growth and health. This study aimed to describe the development of an infant wearable wrist-worn band for the measurement of physical activity; to determine the feasibility of the device data for observational measurement of physical activity and to determine the caregiver reported acceptability of the infant wearable wrist band. Methods: After various iterations of prototypes and piloting thereof, a final wearable band was designed to fit an Axivity AX3 monitor. Mother and infant/toddler (aged 3-24 months) pairs (n = 152) were recruited, and mothers were asked for their child to wear the band with enclosed monitor at all times for 1 week (minimum 3 days). Feasibility was assessed by determining technical reliability of the data, as well as wear time and compliance according to requirements for observational measurement. Acceptability was assessed via questionnaire. Results: Technical reliability of the Axivity AX3 monitors in this age group was good. After excluding days that did not have at least 15 h of wear time, only 2% of participants had less than three valid days of data remaining, and 4% of participants had no data (due to device loss or data loss). Therefore, 94% of participants were compliant, having three or more days of wear with at least 15 h of wear per day, thus providing enough valid data for observational measurement. The majority (60%) of mothers reported being "very happy" with the safety of the device, while only 8% were "a little worried". A large majority (86%) of mothers stated that the band attracted attention from others, although this was mostly attributed to curiosity about the function of the band. Most (80%) of participants rated the comfort of the band as "comfortable", and 10% rated it as "very comfortable". Conclusions: The infant wearable band proved to be feasible and acceptable according to the criteria tested, and compliance wearing the band was good. We have therefore provided a replicable, comfortable and acceptable wearable band for the measurement of infant and toddler physical activity.