Duration: September – November 2013

Background

Physical activity is good for your own personal health and therefore important to stimulate. There are different kinds of stimulus that help with improving a healthier lifestyle. A new resource to stimulate these healthier activities are health-applications for your smartphone. These applications have the ability to track your personal activities, also called ´self-tracking`. These applications are used to get people more active in their daily life.

Aim

In this study we are measuring the validity of the running applications Strava and Runkeeper on a predetermined distance. Also the agreement between the two applications are tested for significance.

Method

In this study nine adults participated ( five males and four females) with an average age of 22 years (±1,54). The participants were instructed to run 1120 meter in three independent trials at different speeds (8km/h, 9km/h and 10km/h). The smartphones, two HTC One – M7, with the applications were installed on the participants arm, Strava (3.7.1) right and Runkeeper (4.1) left.

Results

All distance measurements of Strava and Runkeeper were above the maximal distance measurement error of 50 meters (<4,46%). There was a significant difference found between the applications and the gold standard (p<0,05). Besides these differences , the applications also have significant difference between two of them, with a mean difference of 136,48 ±3,38. The computed inter class correlation coëfficient did not show any correlation with each measurement of both applications (r<0,75).

Conclusion

Based on the results of this small study no firm conclusion can be drawn. The distance measurements of Strava and Runkeeper seem to have low validity. Besides that, each application measured different from each other. Nevertheless, Strava and Runkeeper could still help stimulating healthier lifestyles. A user will compare his activities over time and use the feedback from Strava and Runkeeper to improve, not needing to know the exact distance travelled.

Output

This study is described in a thesis for the Bachelor in Physiotherapy at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.