Older Adults’ Use of and Attitudes toward Activity Monitoring Technologies

Self-management of health is becoming increasingly important in today’s healthcare climate.  Activity monitoring technologies have the potential to support health self-management by tracking, storing, compiling, and providing feedback about an individual’s engagement in movement activities. Older adults represent a fast growing segment of the population who may benefit from such technologies.

To understand how to facilitate technology acceptance and adoption, more information is needed about older adults’ attitudes and usage of such technologies. Eight older adult participants (Mage = 65.0 years;SD = 3.2; range = 61-69) used one of four activity monitoring technologies in their own homes for two weeks. Attitudes and usability issues were assessed and evaluated within a technology acceptance framework. Participants’ initial attitudes were positive, but after using the technology for two weeks, attitudes were mixed. Three participants indicated they would continue using the technology, whereas five said they would abandon the technology. These data offer insight into older adults’ use of and attitudes toward activity monitoring technologies and provide improvement opportunities for designers. The results suggest that efforts should focus on conveying the usefulness and personal benefits of activity monitoring technologies specific to older adults.

Fausset, C. B., Mitzner, T. L., Price, C. E., Jones, B. D., W. B. Fain, & Rogers, W. A. (accepted 2013).  Older adults’ use of and attitudes toward activity monitoring technologies.  Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 57th Annual Meeting.

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