Validity and Reliability of Proximity Detection with Bluetooth-Enabled Accelerometers among Adults

Deirdre Dlugonski, Aaron P. Wood, Katrina D. DuBose, Patrick Rider, Alexander M. Schoemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: This study examined the concurrent validity and inter-pair reliability of the proximity detection function on Bluetooth-enabled accelerometers across manufacturer-specified ranges. If valid, this method could be used for objectively measuring shared physical activity participation. Method: Thirty-six dyads aged 21.6 (2.1) years wore two sets of Bluetooth-enabled accelerometers initialized as beacons and receivers to compare accelerometer-measured proximity detection to direct observation under 11 different controlled and free-living conditions. Results: The proportion of minutes in which proximity was detected differed across conditions (p < .001), with the highest proportions in the controlled conditions (.77–1.0). Among the free-living conditions, the different room (.73 ± .20) condition had the highest proximity detection proportions. There were no differences in the proximity detection across accelerometer pairs (p = .265). Conclusion: Proximity detection with Bluetooth-enabled accelerometers was reliable and had the highest detection rates under the controlled treadmill walking conditions. Despite limitations, using Bluetooth-enabled accelerometers is a promising approach for measuring shared physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-279
Number of pages8
JournalMeasurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Shared physical activity
  • co-participation
  • measurement
  • objective
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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