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

Catrine Tudor-Locke, Elroy J. Aguiar, Ho Han, Scott W. Ducharme, John M. Schuna, Tiago V. Barreira, Christopher C. Moore, Michael A. Busa, Jongil Lim, John R. Sirard, Stuart R. Chipkin, John Staudenmayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

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/m 2 ) 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 17 2019

Keywords

  • Accelerometer
  • Exercise
  • Pedometer
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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    Tudor-Locke, C., Aguiar, E. J., Han, H., Ducharme, S. W., Schuna, J. M., Barreira, T. V., Moore, C. C., Busa, M. A., Lim, J., Sirard, J. R., Chipkin, S. R., & Staudenmayer, J. (2019). Walking cadence (steps/min) and intensity in 21-40 year olds: CADENCE-adults. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 16(1), [8]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-019-0769-6