Using Wireless Pedometers to Measure Children’s Physical Activity: How Reliable is the Fitbit Zip?

Tingting Xu, Erik Jon Byker, Monica Rae Gonzales


The purpose of this study is to examine the reliability of wireless pedometers in measuring elementary school children’s physical activity. Activity measurement using a wireless pedometer Fitbit ZipTM was compared to activity measurement using Yamax Digi-WalkerTM SW701 for a group of randomly selected 25 children in Grades 3, 4, and 5. Fitbit ZipTM wireless pedometers were found to have an appropriate degree (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994) of accuracy and reliability compared to the Yamax Digi-WalkerTM SW701 pedometer. The Fitbit ZipTM wireless pedometer collected more step counts than the Yamax Digi-WalkerTM SW701 pedometer; however, the difference was not statistically significant. Participants reported that they preferred wearing the Fitbit ZipTM to the Yamax Digi-WalkerTM SW701 because the Fitbit ZipTM was more comfortable to wear and less likely to fall off. Participants also reported being more motivated to move while wearing the Fitbit ZipTM.


Elementary school; physical activity; physical education; wireless pedometry

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