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Table 3 Controlled study designs that have informed "how many steps/day are enough?" in adults

From: How many steps/day are enough? for adults

Reference Sample Characteristics Step Counting Instrumentation Protocol Analysis strategy Findings
Welk [41]
2000
USA
17 males, 14 females
Cooper Aerobics Center employees
29.0 ± 8.0 years
Yamax Digi-Walker (Yamax Inc., Tokyo, Japan),
observed tally
walk/jog a track and/or treadmill mile at 4, 6, and 7.5 miles/hr (6.4, 9.66, and 12.8 km/hr*) steps taken for each pace
extrapolated from 4mph pace steps in 30 minutes moderate intensity
3,800-4,000 steps would approximate 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking
Tudor-Locke [38]
2005
USA
25 males, 25 females
university community
18 to 39 years
Yamax SW-200, Yamax Corp., Tokyo,
observed tally
6-minute treadmill bouts at 4.8, 6.4, and 9.7 km/hr V02 from expired gases
Regression METs predicted from steps/minute
3,000-4,000 steps in 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking based on a threshold cadence of 100 steps/min
Marshall [39]
2009
USA
39 males, 58 females
community sample of Latino adults
32.1 ± 10.6 years
Yamax SW-200,
observed tally
6-minute treadmill bouts at 2.4, 3.0,3.5, 4.1 miles/hr (3.86, 4.83, 5.64, and 8.04 km/hr*) V02 from expired gases; METs predicted from steps/minute
multiple regression, mixed modelling, receiver operating curves
Inter-individual variation apparent however, minimally 3,000 steps in 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking based on a threshold cadence of 100 steps/min
MacPherson [42]
2009
New Zealand
12 males, 15 females
university students
18 to 39 years
Observed tally 10,000 steps on treadmill at 3.2 and 6.4 km/hour time to complete and PAEE kcal from Tritrac-R3D accelerometer most participants could achieve at least 150 kcal in energy expenditure with 10,000 steps at the slow walk (median 255 kcal, range 148-401). Faster walking produced a higher energy expenditure (median 388 kcal, range 294-901).
Beets [44]
2010
USA
9 males, 11 females; healthy adults;
26.4 ± 4.5 years
Observed tally 6-minute hallway bouts at 1.8, 2.7, 3.6, 4.5, and 5.4 km/hr* Random effects models to predict steps/min from METs and anthropometric measures Inter-individual variation apparent however, minimally 3,000 steps in 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking based on a threshold cadence of 100 steps/min
Rowe [40]
2011
UK, USA
37 males, 38 females; university students, employees, and their families; 32.9 ± 12.4 years Observed tally 6-minute treadmill bouts at randomly assigned sets of slow (mean 4.3 km/hr), medium (5.0 km/hr), fast (5.8 km/hr) speeds
And
Over-ground track walks (at least 4 minutes) at treadmill-determined cadences (cued by metronome)
Mixed model regression analysis to predict METs from cadence, anthropometric measures, stride length Inter-individual variation apparent however, minimally 3,000 steps in 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking based on a threshold cadence of 100 steps/min
Abel [43]
2011
USA
9 males, 10 females;
university population, frequent runners;
28.8 ± 6.8 years
Observed tally 10-minute treadmill bouts at walking (3.24, 4.8, and 6.42 km/hr*) and running speeds (8.04, 9.66, 11.28 km/hr*) Linear and non-linear regression analysis to predict METs from cadence
Mixed ANOVA:
Between subjects (sex), within subject effect of speed for cadence, stride length, VO2, and METs
Inter-individual variation apparent however, 100 steps/minute a reasonable estimate of moderate intensity walking
  1. *reported speeds converted to km/hr.