Health Promotion

Document Type


Publication Source

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Volume 17, Issue 12, 4181.

Publication Date



Globally, we continue to face a mounting issue of obesity combined with inactivity; sedentary behaviour is independently associated with poor health outcomes including disease and mortality. As such, exploring ways to try to reduce sedentary behaviour and decrease the risk of diseases is an important area of consideration. The role of wearable technology, such as fitness trackers, to encourage and subsequently increase physical activity is relatively well documented. These devices have been successful at encouraging populations to increase daily activity levels. While time being sedentary is often correlated with physical activity participation, this is not always the case. Therefore, it may be just as important to consider the activity an individual is not doing when evaluating health and well-being. This Editorial will summarize the importance of distinguishing between physical activity and sedentary behaviour. It will also discuss how wearable technology, in the form of fitness trackers, may be used to encourage someone to break up sedentary bouts more often. Finally, we will consider important future research directions.


chronic disease, wearable technology, self-monitoring, accuracy, physical activity, sedentary




© 2020 The Authors

This is an open access article made available under the CC-BY-4.0 license.

Included in

Public Health Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.