Pedometer-determined step count guidelines for classifying walking intensity in a young ostensibly healthy population

Catrine Tudor-Locke, Susan B. Sisson, Tracy Collova, Sarah M. Lee, Pamela Swan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    205 Scopus citations


    Purpose: (a) To establish pedometer steps/min intensity categories (i.e., light, moderate, hard, very hard) for adults under controlled conditions, and (b) use these cut-points to ascertain the number of steps expected in 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity. Methods: 25 men and 25 women, ages 18-39 years, performed 6-min exercise bouts at 3 treadmill speeds (4.8, 6.4, and 9.7 km/hr). Yamax SW-200 pedometers indicated steps, and steady-state V̇O2 was recorded. METs were calculated by dividing steady-state V̇O2 by 3.5 ml·kg-1 ·min-1. Linear regression was used to quantify the relationships between steps/min and METs across all speeds. Ten participants (5 M, 5 F) were randomly selected from the original 50 and constituted a holdout sample for cross-validation purposes (i.e, comparing actual and predicted METs; paired t-test). Results: The regression equation for males was: METs = -7.065 + (0.105*steps/min) r2 = 0.803. For females it was: METs = -8.805 + (0.110 * steps/min) r2 = 0.830. Cross-validation was confirmed. Conclusions: Pedometer cut-points corresponding to minimal moderate intensity walking were 96 steps/min in men and 107 steps/min in women, or roughly 100 steps/min for both. This translates to approximately 3,000 steps in 30 min of moderate-intensity ambulatory activity for both genders.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)666-676
    Number of pages11
    JournalCanadian Journal of Applied Physiology
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 2005


    • Exercise
    • Motion sensor
    • Outcome assessment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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