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Wearable Monitors Reveal Little About Activity Among Patients With PD

September 16, 2019

Self-reports of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity failed to match up with results from wearable activity monitors in a group of US veterans with Parkinson disease, according to a study published online in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders.

“Monitoring physical activity is important in Parkinson disease, but patient recall may be unreliable,” wrote researchers from the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Researchers looked at 66 US veterans’ self-reported activity on the Physical Activity Scale in the Elderly (PASE) and compared it with objective monitoring with ActiGraph monitors worn by a subset of participants.

The median age of participants was 70, and median Parkinson disease duration was 4 years.

While the median daily step count of 3615 captured by the wearable monitors was moderately well correlated with PASE findings, the median 8.1 minutes of daily moderate-vigorous physical activity identified by the wearable monitors did not correlate with PASE results.

“Physical activity in this cohort of veterans with Parkinson disease is low and consists mostly of low-intensity steps rather than moderate-vigorous physical activity,” wrote researchers, who pointed out the uncertainty of benefits lower intensity activity offers the population. “These data emphasize the need for interventions to increase moderate-vigorous physical activity in Parkinson disease and the importance of objective monitoring using wearable technology.”

Jolynn Tumolo


Mantri S, Wood S, Duda JE, Morley JF. Comparing self-reported and objective monitoring of physical activity in Parkinson disease [published online September 5, 2019]. Parkinson Relat Disords. doi:

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