Study shows moderate intensity walking means 100 steps per minute

Mar 17, 2009

The benefits of moderate physical activity to general health and well-being are well known. It is recommended that people engage in 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity, equivalent to 30 minutes each day 5 times a week. Although pedometers are widely used as a physical activity monitoring tool, they are unable to measure activity intensity.

Researchers have determined that a rate of at least 100 per minute achieves activity. Therefore a simple pedometer-based recommendation of 3000 steps in 30 minutes can get people started on a meaningful exercise program. The study is published in the May 2009 issue of the .

While being monitored for during walking on a treadmill, 58 woman and 39 men completed 4 6-minute sessions at different treadmill speeds between 65 and 110 meters per minute. All wore pedometers and their heart rates were recorded. Using 3 METs, or metabolic equivalents, as the minimum level of oxygen demand which approximates moderate exercise, participants were monitored to determine whether they had reached the moderate-exercise level at a given treadmill speed. From these data, the researchers found that for men, step counts associated with walking at 3 METs were between 92 and 102 steps per minute. For women, the range was between 91 and 115 steps per minute.

Although a main finding of this study is that considerable error exists when using pedometer step counts to measure METs during treadmill walking, with only 50%��% of individuals correctly classified as walking at moderate intensity using step rate alone, the authors suggest that the pedometer can be used as a simple technique for anyone trying to meet exercise guidelines.

Lead investigator Simon J. Marshall, PhD, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, states, "We believe that these data support a general recommendation of walking at more than 100 steps per minute on level terrain to meet the minimum of the moderate-intensity guideline. Because health benefits can be achieved with bouts of exercise lasting at least 10 minutes, a useful starting point is to try and accumulate 1000 steps in 10 minutes, before building up to 3000 steps in 30 minutes. Individuals can monitor their progress using a simple pedometer and a wristwatch. The use of a single and simple pedometer-based guideline that is easy both to remember and measure may be more effective in a health communication strategy than the promotion of multiple guidelines and, therefore, messages."

More information: The article is "Translating Recommendations into a Pedometer-Based Step Goal: 3000 Steps in 30 Minutes" by Simon J. Marshall, PhD, Susan S. Levy, PhD, Catrine E. Tudor-Locke, PhD, Fred W. Kolkhorst, PhD, Karen M. Wooten, MA, Ming Ji, PhD, Caroline A. Macera, PhD, and Barbara E. Ainsworth, PhD. It appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 36, Issue 5 (May 2009) published by Elsevier.

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pedometers motivate people with diabetes to walk more

Nov 19, 2007

The use of a pedometer and a Web site that tracked physical activity levels proved to be powerful motivators for people with diabetes who participated in a recent walking study conducted by researchers from the University ...

Exercise reduces hunger in lean women but not obese women

Jun 17, 2008

Exercise does not suppress appetite in obese women, as it does in lean women, according to a new study. The results were presented Tuesday, June 17, at The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...