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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2019 Jan 17;16(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s12966-019-0769-6.

Walking cadence (steps/min) and intensity in 21-40 year olds: CADENCE-adults.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 160A Totman Building, 30 Eastman Lane, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA. ctudorlocke@umass.edu.
2
Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 160A Totman Building, 30 Eastman Lane, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA.
3
School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 74078, USA.
4
School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331, USA.
5
School of Education, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, 13244, USA.
6
Institute for Applied Life Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA.
7
Department of Counseling, Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University - San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, 78224, USA.
8
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies have reported that walking cadence (steps/min) is associated with absolutely-defined intensity (metabolic equivalents; METs), such that cadence-based thresholds could serve as reasonable proxy values for ambulatory intensities.

PURPOSE:

To establish definitive heuristic (i.e., evidence-based, practical, rounded) thresholds linking cadence with absolutely-defined moderate (3 METs) and vigorous (6 METs) intensity.

METHODS:

In this laboratory-based cross-sectional study, 76 healthy adults (10 men and 10 women representing each 5-year age-group category between 21 and 40 years, BMI = 24.8 ± 3.4 kg/m2) performed a series of 5-min treadmill bouts separated by 2-min rests. Bouts began at 0.5 mph and increased in 0.5 mph increments until participants: 1) chose to run, 2) achieved 75% of their predicted maximum heart rate, or 3) reported a Borg rating of perceived exertion > 13. Cadence was hand-tallied, and intensity (METs) was measured using a portable indirect calorimeter. Optimal cadence thresholds for moderate and vigorous ambulatory intensities were identified using a segmented regression model with random coefficients, as well as Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) models. Positive predictive values (PPV) of candidate heuristic thresholds were assessed to determine final heuristic values.

RESULTS:

Optimal cadence thresholds for 3 METs and 6 METs were 102 and 129 steps/min, respectively, using the regression model, and 96 and 120 steps/min, respectively, using ROC models. Heuristic values were set at 100 steps/min (PPV of 91.4%), and 130 steps/min (PPV of 70.7%), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cadence thresholds of 100 and 130 steps/min can serve as reasonable heuristic thresholds representative of absolutely-defined moderate and vigorous ambulatory intensity, respectively, in 21-40 year olds. These values represent useful proxy values for recommending and modulating the intensity of ambulatory behavior and/or as measurement thresholds for processing accelerometer data.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Clinicaltrials.gov ( NCT02650258 ).

KEYWORDS:

Accelerometer; Exercise; Pedometer; Physical activity

PMID:
30654810
PMCID:
PMC6337834
DOI:
10.1186/s12966-019-0769-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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