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Res Q Exerc Sport. 2009 Jun;80(2):164-74.

Expected values for pedometer-determined physical activity in youth.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.


This review assembles pedometry literature focused on youth, with particular attention to expected values for habitual, school day, physical education class, recess, lunch break, out-of-school, weekend, and vacation activity. From 31 studies published since 1999, we constructed a youth habitual activity step-curve that indicates: (a) from ages 6 to 18 years, boys typically take more steps per day than girls; (b) for both sexes the youngest age groups appear to take fewer steps per day than those immediately older; and (c) from a young age, boys decline more in steps per day to become more consistent with girls at older ages. Additional studies revealed that boys take approximately 42-49% of daily steps during the school day; girls take 41-47%. Steps taken during physical education class contribute to total steps per day by 8.7-23.7% in boys and 11.4-17.2% in girls. Recess represents 8-11% and lunch break represents 15-16% of total steps per day. After-school activity contributes approximately 47-56% of total steps per day for boys and 47-59% for girls. Weekdays range from approximately 12,000 to 16,000 steps per day in boys and 10,000 to 14,000 steps perday in girls. The corresponding values for weekend days are 12,000-13,000 steps per day in boys and 10,000-12,000 steps per day in girls.

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