Physical activity and sleep are important outcomes in gerontological research, particularly where the researcher is interested in fear of falling among community-dwelling older adults. Self-report measures, however, have limited reliability and validity. Wearable devices are more accurate, but wearing over time may cause participant burden, thus, limiting the duration of monitoring. To explore a passive system for tracking physical activity and sleep over time, we evaluated the feasibility of a commercially-available home monitoring system to track activity patterns over three-months. The sample was community-dwelling women with fear of falling who lived alone in senior apartments (n=4; mean age 85.6). Passive monitors included a bed sensor, 3 motion detectors, and a door detector. Average physical activity and sleep profiles were generated for 4 participants using sensor data. Other measures were used to generate data for comparison with sensor data: actigraphy (MotionWatch 8) worn for 1 week to provide total sleep time and daytime activity counts and a modified CHAMPS questionnaire to examine current and changes in activity participation. Physical activity tracked similarly, indicating low activity levels and lower self-reported activity. However, there was consistently lower average total sleep time as measured by actigraphy compared to the bed sensor (452.5 minutes; 534.4 minutes, respectively). Challenges were encountered in recruitment, equipment, and data retrieval and analysis, which demonstrate the difficulty of conducting this type of research. Further development of systems that provide data may provide passive objective long-term physical activity data among community-dwelling older adults may be beneficial for future studies.

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Journal: Innovation in Aging. 2017 Jul;1(suppl_1):1101-.

Keywords: bed sensor, older adults, Physical Activity, Sleep,

Applications: Physical Activity, Sleep,

CamNtech Reference: M17037

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