Smartphone-based activity and fitness apps are just as accurate as those found on dedicated wearable devices, and may be a more economical alternative for most people.

So says a team of researchers affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Amherst College, which published its findings in a new research letter in JAMA. Researchers tested 10 of the top-selling smartphone apps and devices in the United States by having 14 participants walk on a treadmill for 500 and 1,500 steps, each twice (for a total of 56 trials), and then recording their step counts.

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