Dr. Rachel Colley, a Junior Research Chair with HALO, recently published a paper that looks at a daily step count target, which measures adherence to physical activity guidelines in children and youth. The title of the paper is, “Daily Step Target to Measure Adherence to Physical Activity Guidelines in Children.” Dr. Mark Tremblay was also an author on the paper.
Influential blogger, Arya Sharma, discussed the paper today on his blog. His blog post can be read here.
Citation details for the paper are below:
Colley RC, Janssen I, Tremblay MS. Daily Step Target to Measure Adherence to Physical Activity Guidelines in Children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Nov 2. [Epub ahead of print]
PURPOSE: There is a lack of robust evidence to support a daily step count target that equates to current physical activity guidelines in children and youth. This information would be useful to researchers and practitioners that are using pedometers to monitor physical activity. METHODS: Accelerometer and pedometer data collected on children and youth aged 6-19 years in the Canadian Health Measures Survey were used in this analysis (n = 1,613). Correlation analyses of daily step counts and minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) by age and sex were completed. The daily step count equivalent to 60 minutes of MVPA was derived using linear regression by age and sex. Cross-validation, including receiver operating curve analysis, was completed to compare the new cut-points to one currently used as a proxy estimate of 60 minutes of daily MVPA (13,500 steps·day) as well as a range of possible step count targets between 8,000 and 15,000 steps per day. RESULTS: Daily step counts were correlated with daily minutes of MVPA (r = 0.81, p < .0001). The step count equivalents to 60 minutes of MVPA ranged between 11,290 and 12,512 steps·day (R range = 0.59-0.74). A step-count target of 12,000 steps·day resulted in closer population estimates of meeting the physical activity guideline (as measured as minutes of MVPA by accelerometer) as well as improved balance between sensitivity and specificity when compared to any cut-point between 8,000 and 15,000 steps·day, including the currently used daily step count target of 13,500 steps·day. CONCLUSION: We propose that 12,000 steps·day-1 be used as a target to determine whether children and youth aged 6-19 years are meeting the current physical activity guideline of 60 minutes of daily MVPA.