Examining the Use of Wearable Health Devices for Tracking Physical Activity in Elderly Populations

Wearable Health Devices for Elderly


  • Aneek Kayani Pakistan Institue of Medical Sciences https://orcid.org/0009-0009-8669-1343
  • Iqra Sajid Sky Care General Hospital
  • Hanan Azfar Consultant Physical Therapist, Bhatti Hospital
  • Umm-e-Habiba Consultant Physical Therapist, DHQ Chakwal
  • Ibraheem Zafar Mohiuddin Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Ramsha Masood Mohiuddin Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences


Blood Pressure, Elderly, Heart Rate, Physical Activity


Background: Wearable healthcare device use has increased substantially in recent years, owing to significant developments in wireless sensors and digital technology. This study provides valuable insights into improving health and quality of life by diving into how wearable technology might aid in monitoring and boosting mild-intensity activities among older adults.

Methods: A longitudinal study design was used to investigate the impact of wearable health devices on physical activity among older populations over time. Data was gathered at three independent time points: baseline, three months, and six months, allowing for the assessment of changes and trends in physical activity and related health markers.

Results: The responses related to the use of wearable gadgets for monitoring physical activity (PA) were asked. It was found that n=103 males and n=98 females were unaware of the use of wearable gadgets and had no idea about the availability of such gadgets in the market. Moreover, chi-square analyses revealed that the likelihood of using wearable gadgets to quantify PA was non-significant, with p<0.05 among the elderly population.

Conclusion: The findings of this longitudinal study highlight the potential advantages of wearable health devices in promoting physical activity among older populations. The results show that these gadgets may be motivational aids, resulting in notable increases in step counts, resting heart rates, and users’ opinions of wearable technology.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.59564/amrj/02.01/006


Liu JY, Kor PP, Chan CP, Kwan RY, Cheung DS. The effectiveness of a wearable activity tracker (WAT)-based intervention to improve physical activity levels in sedentary older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2020 Nov 1;91:104211.

Vogel J, Auinger A, Riedl R, Kindermann H, Helfert M, Ocenasek H. Digitally enhanced recovery: Investigating the use of digital self-tracking for monitoring leisure time physical activity of cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation. PloS one. 2017 Oct 11;12(10):e0186261.

Ferguson T, Olds T, Curtis R, Blake H, Crozier AJ, Dankiw K, Dumuid D, Kasai D, O'Connor E, Virgara R, Maher C. Effectiveness of wearable activity trackers to increase physical activity and improve health: a systematic review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The Lancet Digital Health. 2022 Aug 1;4(8):e615-26.

Beg MS, Gupta A, Stewart T, Rethorst CD. Promise of wearable physical activity monitors in oncology practice. Journal of oncology practice. 2017 Feb;13(2):82-9.

Franssen W, Franssen GH, Spaas J, Solmi F, Eijnde BO. Can consumer wearable activity tracker-based interventions improve physical activity and cardiometabolic health in patients with chronic diseases? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2020 Dec;17(1):1-20.

Wu M, Luo J. Wearable technology applications in healthcare: a literature review. Online J. Nurs. Inform. 2019 Nov;23(3).

Mercer K, Li M, Giangregorio L, Burns C, Grindrod K. Behavior change techniques present in wearable activity trackers: a critical analysis. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 2016 Apr 27;4(2):e4461.

Schrack JA, Cooper R, Koster A, Shiroma EJ, Murabito JM, Rejeski WJ, Ferrucci L, Harris TB. Assessing daily physical activity in older adults: unraveling the complexity of monitors, measures, and methods. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biomedical Sciences and Medical Sciences. 2016 Aug 1;71(8):1039-48.

Evenson KR, Goto MM, Furberg RD. Systematic review of the validity and reliability of consumer-wearable activity trackers. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2015 Dec;12(1):1-22.

Kirk MA, Amiri M, Pirbaglou M, Ritvo P. Wearable technology and physical activity behavior change in adults with chronic cardiometabolic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2019 Jun;33(5):778-91.

Steinert A, Haesner M, Steinhagen-Thiessen E. Activity-tracking devices for older adults: comparison and preferences. Universal Access in the Information Society. 2018 Jun;17:411-9.

Cooper C, Gross A, Brinkman C, Pope R, Allen K, Hastings S, Bogen BE, Goode AP. The impact of wearable motion sensing technology on physical activity in older adults. Experimental gerontology. 2018 Oct 2;112:9-19.

Rasche P, Wille M, Theis S, Schäefer K, Schlick CM, Mertens A. Activity tracker and elderly. In2015 IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology; Ubiquitous Computing and Communications; Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing; Pervasive Intelligence and Computing 2015 Oct 26 (pp. 1411-1416). IEEE.

Macridis S, Johnston N, Johnson S, Vallance JK. Consumer physical activity tracking device ownership and use among a population-based sample of adults. PloS one. 2018 Jan 2;13(1):e0189298.

Panicker RM, Chandrasekaran B. “Wearables on vogue”: a scoping review on wearables on physical activity and sedentary behavior during COVID-19 pandemic. Sport sciences for health. 2022 Sep;18(3):641-57.

Chandrasekaran R, Katthula V, Moustakas E. Patterns of use and key predictors for the use of wearable health care devices by US adults: insights from a national survey. Journal of medical Internet research. 2020 Oct 16;22(10):e22443.

Seifert A, Schlomann A, Rietz C, Schelling HR. The use of mobile devices for physical activity tracking in older adults’ everyday life. Digital health. 2017 Nov;3:2055207617740088.

Kekade S, Hseieh CH, Islam MM, Atique S, Khalfan AM, Li YC, Abdul SS. The usefulness and actual use of wearable devices among the elderly population. Computer methods and programs in biomedicine. 2018 Jan 1;153:137-59.

Abouzahra M, Ghasemaghaei M. The antecedents and results of seniors’ use of activity tracking wearable devices. Health Policy and Technology. 2020 Jun 1;9(2):213-7.

Chandrasekaran R, Katthula V, Moustakas E. Too old for technology? Use of wearable healthcare devices by older adults and their willingness to share health data with providers. Health Informatics Journal. 2021 Nov 17;27(4):14604582211058073.