Table 3

Controlled study designs that have informed "how many steps/day are enough?" in adults

Reference

Sample Characteristics

Step Counting Instrumentation

Protocol

Analysis strategy

Findings


Welk [41]

2000

USA

17 males, 14 females

Cooper Aerobics Center employees

29.0 ± 8.0 years

Yamax Digi-Walker (Yamax Inc., Tokyo, Japan),

observed tally

walk/jog a track and/or treadmill mile at 4, 6, and 7.5 miles/hr (6.4, 9.66, and 12.8 km/hr*)

steps taken for each pace

extrapolated from 4mph pace steps in 30 minutes moderate intensity

3,800-4,000 steps would approximate 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking


Tudor-Locke [38]

2005

USA

25 males, 25 females

university community

18 to 39 years

Yamax SW-200, Yamax Corp., Tokyo,

observed tally

6-minute treadmill bouts at 4.8, 6.4, and 9.7 km/hr

V02 from expired gases

Regression METs predicted from steps/minute

3,000-4,000 steps in 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking based on a threshold cadence of 100 steps/min


Marshall [39]

2009

USA

39 males, 58 females

community sample of Latino adults

32.1 ± 10.6 years

Yamax SW-200,

observed tally

6-minute treadmill bouts at 2.4, 3.0,3.5, 4.1 miles/hr (3.86, 4.83, 5.64, and 8.04 km/hr*)

V02 from expired gases; METs predicted from steps/minute

multiple regression, mixed modelling, receiver operating curves

Inter-individual variation apparent however, minimally 3,000 steps in 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking based on a threshold cadence of 100 steps/min


MacPherson [42]

2009

New Zealand

12 males, 15 females

university students

18 to 39 years

Observed tally

10,000 steps on treadmill at 3.2 and 6.4 km/hour

time to complete and PAEE kcal from Tritrac-R3D accelerometer

most participants could achieve at least 150 kcal in energy expenditure with 10,000 steps at the slow walk (median 255 kcal, range 148-401). Faster walking produced a higher energy expenditure (median 388 kcal, range 294-901).


Beets [44]

2010

USA

9 males, 11 females; healthy adults;

26.4 ± 4.5 years

Observed tally

6-minute hallway bouts at 1.8, 2.7, 3.6, 4.5, and 5.4 km/hr*

Random effects models to predict steps/min from METs and anthropometric measures

Inter-individual variation apparent however, minimally 3,000 steps in 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking based on a threshold cadence of 100 steps/min


Rowe [40]

2011

UK, USA

37 males, 38 females; university students, employees, and their families; 32.9 ± 12.4 years

Observed tally

6-minute treadmill bouts at randomly assigned sets of slow (mean 4.3 km/hr), medium (5.0 km/hr), fast (5.8 km/hr) speeds

And

Over-ground track walks (at least 4 minutes) at treadmill-determined cadences (cued by metronome)

Mixed model regression analysis to predict METs from cadence, anthropometric measures, stride length

Inter-individual variation apparent however, minimally 3,000 steps in 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking based on a threshold cadence of 100 steps/min


Abel [43]

2011

USA

9 males, 10 females;

university population, frequent runners;

28.8 ± 6.8 years

Observed tally

10-minute treadmill bouts at walking (3.24, 4.8, and 6.42 km/hr*) and running speeds (8.04, 9.66, 11.28 km/hr*)

Linear and non-linear regression analysis to predict METs from cadence

Mixed ANOVA:

Between subjects (sex), within subject effect of speed for cadence, stride length, VO2, and METs

Inter-individual variation apparent however, 100 steps/minute a reasonable estimate of moderate intensity walking


*reported speeds converted to km/hr.

Tudor-Locke et al. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011 8:79   doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-79

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