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Health Promot J Austr. 2006 Apr;17(1):43-7.

Demographic and individual correlates of achieving 10,000 steps/day: use of pedometers in a population-based study.

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  • 1School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia.



The 10,000 steps per day message has become popular, yet few studies have examined correlates associated with achieving this behaviour target. This paper examines demographic and individual factors associated with adults achieving 10,000 steps/day.


Participants in a state-wide, cross-sectional physical activity survey were invited to take part in a pedometer study (n=603, 45% response rate). A pedometer was worn for one week and daily steps recorded in a diary. Participants providing four or more days of pedometer data (n=428) were dichotomised based on achievement of > or =10,000 steps/day.


Men performed significantly more daily steps than women on average (10,079+/-3,848 and 9,169+/-3,800, p=0.01). In males, those less likely to achieve > or =10,000 steps/day were > or =60 years of age (OR=0.21) and overweight (i.e. body mass index > or =25kgm2) (OR=0.40), while men who regularly walked in the workplace (OR=1.44), who did vigorous activity at work (OR= 3.75), or who were employed in a blue-collar occupation (OR=4.45) were more likely to report reaching this target. In women, being overweight (OR=0.55) was negatively associated with achieving > or =10,000 steps/day, while participating in > or =150 minutes of leisure-time physical activity/week (OR=2.26) was positively associated with reaching this target.


Workplace physical activity and working in blue-collar occupations contributes to the achievement of 10,000 steps/day in males. People who achieve current national physical activity guidelines also achieve 10,000 steps/day. Older adults and those overweight are less likely to achieve this behaviour target.

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