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The use of self-tracking technology for health

Validity, adoption, and effectiveness
PhD ceremony:Ms T.J.M. (Thea) Kooiman
When:November 07, 2018
Supervisor:prof. dr. C.P. (Cees) van der Schans
Co-supervisors:Prof. M.A. de Groot, Prof. A. Kooy
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
The use of self-tracking technology for health

The use of self-tracking technology for health. Validity, adoption, and effectiveness

Engagement in sufficient physical activity and gaining a healthy weight is of great importance for people with overweight and people with type 2 diabetes. However, increment of physical activity and weight loss can be a challenge. Self-tracking of different aspects of personal health, such as physical activity behavior, has gained increasing interest in recent years. This thesis reflects on different aspects of this phenomenon.  We investigated the validity and reliability of consumer activity trackers, the adoption of self-tracking technology for physical activity, sleep, and weight including which factors were related to this, and the effectiveness of this technology for increment of physical activity and health related outcome measures like weight and blood glucose regulation. These studies showed that most activity trackers are sufficiently reliable and valid for tracking physical activity behavior. In general, the use of this technology decreases over time. This was related to different personal, technical and behavioral factors. In addition, it was found that this technology impacts the increment of physical activity behavior and weight loss. In people with type 2 diabetes a majority of the participants showed a decrement of their blood glucose after engaging in an online lifestyle program coupled with an activity tracker.