Smartphone App (2kmFIT-App) for Measuring Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Validity and Reliability Study
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AuthorMuntaner Mas, Adrià; Martínez Nicolás, Antonio; Quesada, Alberto; Cadenas Sánchez, Cristina; Ortega Porcel, Francisco Bartolomé
Exercise testMobile appsReproducibility of resultsPhysical fitnessTelemedicineCardiorespiratory fitness
Muntaner-Mas A, Martinez-Nicolas A, Quesada A, Cadenas-Sanchez C, Ortega FB Smartphone App (2kmFIT-App) for Measuring Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Validity and Reliability Study JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2021;9(1):e14864. [https://doi.org/10.2196/14864]
SponsorshipSpanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness-MINECO/FEDER DEP2016-79512-R; European Commission 667302; University of Granada, Plan Propio de Investigacion 2016, Unit of Excellence on Exercise and Health (UCEES); Junta de Andalucia; European Commission SOMM17/6107/UGR RD16/002; EXERNET Research Network on Exercise and Health in Special Populations DEP2005-00046/ACTI; SAMID III network, RETICS - PN I+D+I 2017-2021 (Spain); ISCIII Sub-Directorate-General for Research Assessment and Promotion; Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness CB16/10/00239; Instituto de Salud Carlos III through the CIBERFES CB16/10/00239; Fundacion Seneca 19899/GERM/15; Ministry of Science Innovation and Universities - FEDER RTI2018-093528-B-I00; Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities FJC2018-037925-I
Background: There is strong evidence suggesting that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) are associated with a healthier metabolic profile, and that CRF can serve as a powerful predictor of morbidity and mortality. In this context, a smartphone app based on the 2-km walk test (UKK test) would provide the possibility to assess CRF remotely in individuals geographically distributed around a country or continent, and even between continents, with minimal equipment and low costs. Objective: The overall aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of 2kmFIT-App developed for Android and iOS mobile operating systems to estimate maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) as an indicator of CRF. The specific aims of the study were to determine the validity of 2kmFIT-App to track distance and calculate heart rate (HR). Methods: Twenty participants were included for field-testing validation and reliability analysis. The participants completed the UKK test twice using 2kmFIT-App. Distance and HR were measured with the app as well as with accurate methods, and VO2max was estimated using the UKK test equation. Results: The validity results showed the following mean differences (app minus criterion): distance (& ndash;70.40, SD 51.47 meters), time (& ndash;0.59, SD 0.45 minutes), HR (& ndash;16.75, SD 9.96 beats/minute), and VO2max (3.59, SD 2.01 ml/kg/min). There was moderate validity found for HR (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] 0.731, 95% CI & ndash;0.211 to 0.942) and good validity found for VO2max (ICC 0.878, 95% CI & ndash;0.125 to 0.972). The reliability results showed the following mean differences (retest minus test): app distance (25.99, SD 43.21 meters), app time (& ndash;0.15, SD 0.94 seconds), pace (& ndash;0.18, SD 0.33 min/km), app HR (& ndash;4.5, 13.44 beats/minute), and app VO2max (0.92, SD 3.04 ml/kg/min). There was good reliability for app HR (ICC 0.897, 95% CI 0.742-0.959) and excellent validity for app VO2max (ICC 0.932, 95% CI 0.830-0.973). All of these findings were observed when using the app with an Android operating system, whereas validity was poor when the app was used with iOS. Conclusions: This study shows that 2kmFIT-App is a new, scientifically valid and reliable tool able to objectively and remotely estimate CRF, HR, and distance with an Android but not iOS mobile operating system. However, certain limitations such as the time required by 2kmFIT-App to calculate HR or the temperature environment should be considered when using the app.