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Title: How many steps/day are enough for adults?
Authors: Tudor-Locke, Catrine
Craig, Cora L.
Brown, Wendy J.
Clemes, Stacy A.
De Cocker, Katrien
Giles-Corti, Billie
Hatano, Yoshiro
Inoue, Shigeru
Matsudo, Sandra M.
Mutrie, Nanette
Oppert, Jean-Michel
Rowe, David A.
Schmidt, Michael D.
Schofield, Grant M.
Spence, John C.
Teixeira, Pedro J.
Tully, Mark A.
Blair, Steven N.
Keywords: Systematic review
Walking
Physical activity
Health
Pedometers
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: BioMed Central (© the authors)
Citation: TUDOR-LOCKE, C. ... (et al.), 2011. How many steps/day are enough for adults? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8, no. 79.
Abstract: Physical activity guidelines from around the world are typically expressed in terms of frequency, duration, and intensity parameters. Objective monitoring using pedometers and accelerometers offers a new opportunity to measure and communicate physical activity in terms of steps/day. Various step-based versions or translations of physical activity guidelines are emerging, reflecting public interest in such guidance. However, there appears to be a wide discrepancy in the exact values that are being communicated. It makes sense that step-based recommendations should be harmonious with existing evidence-based public health guidelines that recognize that “some physical activity is better than none” while maintaining a focus on time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Thus, the purpose of this review was to update our existing knowledge of “How many steps/day are enough?”, and to inform step-based recommendations consistent with current physical activity guidelines. Normative data indicate that healthy adults typically take between 4,000 and 18,000 steps/day, and that 10,000 steps/day is reasonable for this population, although there are notable “low active populations.” Interventions demonstrate incremental increases on the order of 2,000-2,500 steps/day. The results of seven different controlled studies demonstrate that there is a strong relationship between cadence and intensity. Further, despite some inter-individual variation, 100 steps/minute represents a reasonable floor value indicative of moderate intensity walking. Multiplying this cadence by 30 minutes (i.e., typical of a daily recommendation) produces a minimum of 3,000 steps that is best used as a heuristic (i.e., guiding) value, but these steps must be taken over and above habitual activity levels to be a true expression of free-living steps/day that also includes recommendations for minimal amounts of time in MVPA. Computed steps/day translations of time in MVPA that also include estimates of habitual activity levels equate to 7,100 to 11,000 steps/day. A direct estimate of minimal amounts of MVPA accumulated in the course of objectively monitored free-living behaviour is 7,000-8,000 steps/day. A scale that spans a wide range of incremental increases in steps/day and is congruent with public health recognition that “some physical activity is better than none,” yet still incorporates step-based translations of recommended amounts of time in MVPA may be useful&