Recommendations for Determining the Validity of Consumer Wearables and Smartphones for the Estimation of Energy Expenditure: Expert Statement and Checklist of the INTERLIVE Network

Rob Argent, Megan Hetherington-Rauth, Julie Stang, Jakob Tarp, Francisco B Ortega, Pablo Molina-Garcia, Moritz Schumann, Wilhelm Bloch, Sulin Cheng, Anders Grøntved, Jan Christian Brønd, Ulf Ekelund, Luis B Sardinha, Brian Caulfield

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Consumer wearables and smartphone devices commonly offer an estimate of energy expenditure (EE) to assist in the objective monitoring of physical activity to the general population. Alongside consumers, healthcare professionals and researchers are seeking to utilise these devices for the monitoring of training and improving human health. However, the methods of validation and reporting of EE estimation in these devices lacks rigour, negatively impacting on the ability to make comparisons between devices and provide transparent accuracy.

OBJECTIVES: The Towards Intelligent Health and Well-Being Network of Physical Activity Assessment (INTERLIVE) is a joint European initiative of six universities and one industrial partner. The network was founded in 2019 and strives towards developing best-practice recommendations for evaluating the validity of consumer wearables and smartphones. This expert statement presents a best-practice validation protocol for consumer wearables and smartphones in the estimation of EE.

METHODS: The recommendations were developed through (1) a systematic literature review; (2) an unstructured review of the wider literature discussing the potential factors that may introduce bias during validation studies; and (3) evidence-informed expert opinions from members of the INTERLIVE network.

RESULTS: The systematic literature review process identified 1645 potential articles, of which 62 were deemed eligible for the final dataset. Based on these studies and the wider literature search, a validation framework is proposed encompassing six key domains for validation: the target population, criterion measure, index measure, testing conditions, data processing and the statistical analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: The INTERLIVE network recommends that the proposed protocol, and checklists provided, are used to standardise the testing and reporting of the validation of any consumer wearable or smartphone device to estimate EE. This in turn will maximise the potential utility of these technologies for clinicians, researchers, consumers, and manufacturers/developers, while ensuring transparency, comparability, and replicability in validation.


Original languageEnglish
JournalSports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1817-1832
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2022

Research areas and keywords

  • Checklist
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Smartphone
  • Wearable Electronic Devices


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