Physical activity patterns, adherence to using a wearable activity tracker during a 12-week period and correlation between self-reported function and physical activity in working age individuals with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: A majority of individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) are insufficiently physically active. Self-monitoring with wearable activity trackers (WAT) could promote physical activity (PA), and increased knowledge of PA patterns and adherence to using a WAT is needed. The aim of this study was to describe PA patterns and adherence to WAT-use during an intervention among participants of working age with hip and/or knee OA. The study further explores the correlation between self-reported joint function and PA. Methods: Individuals of working age with hip and/or knee OA who used a WAT, Fitbit Flex 2, for 12 weeks were included. Participants monitored their PA in the Fitbit-app. An activity goal of 7,000 steps/day was set. Steps and minutes in light (L), moderate and vigorous (MV) PA were collected from the Fitbit. Self-reported joint function (HOOS/KOOS) was completed. Data was analyzed with linear mixed models and Spearman’s rank correlation. Results: Seventy-five participants (45–66 years) walked on average 10 593 (SD 3431) steps/day, spent 248.5 (SD 42.2) minutes in LPA/day, 48.1 (SD 35.5) minutes in MVPA/day, 336.0 (SD 249.9) minutes in MVPA/week and used the Fitbit for an average of 88.4 % (SD 11.6) of the 12-week period. 86.7 % took > 7,000 steps/day and 77.3 % spent > 150 min in MVPA/week. Mean daily steps/week decreased significantly over the 12 weeks (β-coefficient − 117, 95 % CI -166 to -68, p = < 0.001) as well as mean daily minutes in LPA/week (β-coefficient − 2.3, 95 % CI -3.3 to -1.4, p = < 0.001), mean daily minutes in MVPA/week (β-coefficient − 0.58, 95 % CI -1.01 to -0.16, p = 0.008) and mean adherence to Fitbit-use per week (β-coefficient − 1.3, 95 % CI -1.8 to -0.8, p = < 0.001). There were no significant correlations between function (HOOS/KOOS) and PA. Conclusions: The majority of participants reached 7,000 steps/day and the recommended 150 min in MVPA per week. However, PA decreased slightly but gradually over time. Adherence to using the Fitbit was high but also decreased during the intervention. Understanding PA patterns and the use of a Fitbit to promote PA could be beneficial in tailoring interventions for individuals with hip and/or knee OA.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Primary health care Dalby
  • Viniam Consulting AB
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Sport and Fitness Sciences


  • Fitbit, Hip osteoarthritis, Knee osteoarthritis, Mhealth, Physical activity, Wearable activity tracker
Original languageEnglish
Article number450
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec
Publication categoryResearch