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Published Studies Using Garmin Devices

This article provides samples of published studies from 2018-2021 validating the use of Garmin smartwatches in health research. The studies' titles, links, and summaries are provided below.

  Table of Contents
- Vivosmart 
- Vivofit 

- Vivoactive

- Fenix  
- Forerunner 
- Venu SQ 




Can wearable technology be used to approximate cardiopulmonary exercise testing metrics? (2021)

“Data recorded by the wearable device was able to consistently approximate CPET results, both with and without the addition of patient reported activity measures via IPAQ scores. This highlights the potential utility of wearable devices in formal assessment of physical functioning and suggests they could play a larger role in pre-operative risk assessment.”
Vivosmart HR+

Comparing Monitoring Results of Two Motion Trackers for Geriatric Patients (2020)
“Fitbit and Garmin motion tracker devices are highly used in research. The validity and reliability of these devices is proven for healthy adults between 18 and 64.”

Vivosmart HR+

Accuracy of Optical Heart Rate Sensing Technology in Wearable Fitness Trackers for Young and Older Adults: Validation and Comparison Study (2020)
The study reveals that commonly used optical heart rate sensors, such as the ones used herein, generally produce accurate heart rate readings irrespective of the age of the user. However, users should avoid relying entirely on these readings to indicate exercise intensities, as these devices have a tendency to produce erroneous, extreme readings, which might misinterpret the real-time exercise intensity...”
Vivosmart HR+

Consumer Wearable Devices for Activity Monitoring Among Individuals After a Stroke: A Prospective Comparison (2018)
“FBT and GAR <Garmin> had moderate to strong correlation with best available reference measures of walking activity in individuals with subacute stroke. Accuracy appears to be lower among rollator users and varies according to heart rhythm. Consumer wearables may be a viable option for large-scale studies of physical activity.
Vivosmart HR+

Accuracy of Wrist-Worn Activity Monitors During Common Daily Physical Activities and Types of Structured Exercise: Evaluation Study (2018)

Two common wrist-worn devices (Fitbit Charge 2 and Garmin vívosmart HR+) show good HR accuracy, with a small negative bias, and reasonable EE estimates during low to moderate-intensity exercise and during a variety of common daily activities and exercise.”
Vivosmart HR+


Overground and Treadmill Walking in People With Parkinson Disease: Cross-Sectional Comparative Study (2020)
The wrist-worn sensors were accurate and precise only during overground walking. Similar research should inform the application of these devices in clinical research and practice involving patients with PD.” 
Vivosmart 3

Fitness-Tracker Assisted Frailty-Assessment Before Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation: Proof-of-Concept Study (2020)
“Several reports have validated the accuracy of the heart rate measurement by Garmin Vivosmart devices with simultaneous electrocardiogram readings,  and the device has shown excellent test-retest reliability as well as optimal step count accuracy at low and moderate walking speeds. The stress level measurement calculated by the device is based on the analysis of the heart rate variability and it is a good reflector of autonomic activity. “
Vivosmart 3


Quantifying Step Count and Oxygen Consumption with Portable Technology during the 2-Min Walk Test in People with Lower Limb Amputation (2021)
“The Garmin vivofit3 worn on the wrist and the modus StepWatch worn on the prostheses ankle had the least error and tightest limits of agreement compared to the ActiGraph Link worn on the wrist and ankle , and the vivofit3 worn on the ankle.”
Vivofit 3

The validity and accuracy of wrist-worn activity monitors in lower-limb prosthesis users (2019)
Study comparing the following devices: Polar Loop, Fitbit Flex, MOVEBAND, Garmin Vivofit, Fitbit Charge and Omron HJ-113 pedometer . "When considering the use of consumer-grade wrist-worn activity monitors for assessing step counts in persons using lower-limb prostheses, the Garmin Vivofit seems to be the best option followed by Fitbit Charge."

Validity of six consumer-level activity monitors for measuring steps in patients with chronic heart failure
"Even though none of the tested activity monitors fall within arbitrary thresholds for validity, most of them perform reasonably well enough to be useful tools that clinicians can use to simply motivate chronic heart failure patients to walk more."
Vivofit 3



Usability and Accuracy of a Smartwatch for the Assessment of Physical Activity in the Elderly Population: Observational Study (2021)
“The level of accuracy of wearable devices in quantifying the PA of elderly people in a real-life setting that was found in this study supports the idea of considering wrist-wearable non-medical devices as reliable tools. Both health care professionals and informal caregivers could monitor the level of PA of their patients.” 
Vivoactive HR

Using Wearable Devices to Monitor Physical Activity in Patients Undergoing Aortic Valve Replacement: Protocol for a Prospective Observational Study (2020)
The use of the wearable devices for real-time monitoring of physical activity of patients undergoing aortic valve replacement is a promising opportunity for improving the clinical management and consequently, the health outcomes of such patients.”
Vivoactive 3



Accuracy and Reliability of Commercial Wrist-Worn Pulse Oximeter During Normobaric Hypoxia Exposure Under Resting Conditions (2020)
"With the exception of readings taken at 12,000 ft of simulated altitude, the Garmin fēnix® exhibits minimal overestimation of SpO2 and minimal underestimation of HR during simulated altitude exposure. These data suggest the Garmin fēnix® watch may be a viable method to monitor SpO2 and HR under most ambient environmental conditions."
Fenix 5X


Validation of Garmin Fitness Tracker Metabolic Data -VO2max (2019)
https://journals.lww.com/acsm- msse/Fulltext/2019/06001/Validation_of_Garmin_Fitness_Tracker_Metabolic.111.aspx"Overall the Garmin Fenix 3 HR fitness tracker was found to provide an accurate estimate of VO2max when compared to an actual GXT. Based on these data it would appear that the Garmin fenix 3 HR watch with chest strap may provide individuals an accurate assessment of their aerobic capacity for simple self-monitoring."
Fenix 3


Assessment of Peak Oxygen Uptake with a Smartwatch and its Usefulness for Training of Runners (2022)
"In the given group of runners as well as the applied testing procedures and within the ˙VO2peak range of 45 and 55 ml∙min−1∙kg−1, the mean absolute percentage error when validating against the criterion measure is 4.1%. The criterion measure revealed a coefficient of variation of 3.5% in this range of ˙VO2peak."
Forerunner 245

Validation of the Garmin Forerunner 920XT VO2max Estimation and the Polar RS300X Fitness Test (2019)
"The findings indicate that Garmin and Polar fitness tests may serve as an adequate substitute for testing using a metabolic cart. The Garmin test may be a more appropriate choice as the correlation was stronger and the Polar test tended to overestimate VO2max."
Forerunner 920

Assessment of step accuracy using the Consumer Technology Association standard (2019)
"Overall, the Apple iWatch series 1, Moto 360, Garmin, and Suunto Spartan Trainer met the CTA standard for both walking and running."
Forerunner 235

Venu SQ

Association between sleep duration, sleep quality and selfesteem in adolescents in Iceland (2021)
"There was no association between overall sleep quality and self-esteem. However, correlation results showed a moderate association between overall sleep duration and self-esteem (r(16) = -.56, p = .02), indicating that self-esteem increases as sleep duration increases, which is corresponding to previous findings."

For additional studies, please visit the Garmin study database here:

Last updated: February 21, 2022