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J Phys Act Health. 2008;5 Suppl 1:S126-39.

BMI-referenced cut points for pedometer-determined steps per day in adults.

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Dept of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA.



The goal of this study was to establish preliminary criterion-referenced cut points for adult pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) related to weight status defined by body mass index (BMI).


Researchers contributed directly measured BMI and pedometer data that had been collected (1) using a Yamax-manufactured pedometer, (2) for a minimum of 3 days, (3) on ostensibly healthy adults. The contrasting groups method was used to identify age- and gender-specific cut points for steps/d related to BMI cut points for normal weight and overweight/obesity (defined as BMI <25 and >or=25 kg/m2, respectively).


Data included 3127 individuals age 18 to 94 years (976 men, age = 46.8 +/- 15.4 years, BMI = 27.3 +/- 4.9; 2151 women, age = 47.4 +/- 14.9 years, BMI = 27.6 +/- 6.4; all gender differences NS). Best estimated cut points for normal versus overweight/obesity ranged from 11,000 to 12,000 steps/d for men and 8000 to 12,000 steps/d for women (consistently higher for younger age groups).


These steps/d cut points can be used to identify individuals at risk, or the proportion of adults achieving or falling short of set cut points can be reported and compared between populations. Cut points can also be used to set intervention goals, and they can be referred to when evaluating program impact, as well as environmental and policy changes.

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