Steps that count: the association between the number and intensity of steps accumulated and fitness and health measures

Pillay, Julian David and Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy L. and van Mechelen, Willem and Lambert, Estelle Vicki (2014) Steps that count: the association between the number and intensity of steps accumulated and fitness and health measures. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11 (1). pp. 10-17. ISSN 1543-3080

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Background: Pedometer-based recommendations for accumulating steps/d largely focus on volume, with less emphasis on intensity and fitness/health outcomes. We aim to examine this relationship. Methods: A convenience sample (N = 70, 35 men, 32 ± 8yrs) wore a pedometer (4 days). The pedometer classified steps as 'aerobic' (60 steps/minute, minimum duration of 1 minute) or 'non-aerobic' (< 60 steps/minute and/or < 1 minute). Estimated maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), derived from a 12-minute submaximal step-test, and health outcomes: blood pressure (BP), body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat (%BF), and waist circumference (WC) were correlated with pedometer data. Participants were grouped according to number and intensity of steps: LOW (< 5000 steps/day), HIGH-LOW (5000 steps/day, no aerobic steps), HIGH-HIGH (5000 steps/day, including some aerobic steps). Analyses of covariance, adjusting for age, gender, and total steps/day were used to compare groups. Results: Average steps/day was 6520 ± 2306. Total steps/day and total time spent accumulating 'aerobic' steps (minutes/day) were inversely associated with %BF, BMI, WC, and systolic BP (P < .05). After adjusting for gender and total steps/day, %BF was different between all 3 groups, VO2max was different between the LOW and HIGH-HIGH groups, WC was lower in the HIGH-HIGH versus the other 2 groups (P < .03, respectively). Conclusion: Intensity seems an important factor to consider in steps/day cut-points.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2017 05:04
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2017 05:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: ambulatory, pedometer, steps/d, aerobic, intensity
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2011-0288

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