Submitted to: Preventive Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 21, 2011
Publication Date: July 14, 2011
Citation: Tudor-Locke, C., Leonardi, C., Johnson, W.D., Katzmarzyk, P.T., Church, T.S. 2011. Accelerometer steps/day translation of moderate-to-vigorous activity. Preventive Medicine. 53(1-2):31-33.
Interpretive Summary: We determined a direct steps/day translation of public health recommendations related to daily and weekly accumulations of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA), using accelerometer-defined step and intensity data collected as part of the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We found that accumulating approximately 8,000 steps/day is associated with obtaining 30 minutes of daily MVPA, while accumulating 7,000 steps/day every day of the week is consistent with obtaining 150 minutes of weekly MVPA.
Physical activity (PA) guidelines are typically communicated in terms of duration, frequency and intensity, e.g., 30 minutes/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity(MVPA) on at least 5 days /week. Step counters can be used to collect objective PA expressed as steps/day, however the association between steps/day and recommended PA levels is unclear. We determined a direct steps/day translation of 30 minutes/day accumulated MVPA, using concurrently detected ActiGraph accelerometer-defined step and activity count data collected as part of the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We employed statistical models to analyze data from 3,523 participants 20+ years of age who wore the accelerometer for at least one valid day (i.e., at least 10/24 hours) over 7 days. Thirty minutes/day of MVPA translated to approximately 7,900 steps/day for males and 8,300 steps/day for females. In a subsample of participants (n=1,197) with valid data on all 7 days, we found 150 minutes/week of MVPA translated to approximately 7,000 steps/day (or 49,000 steps/week). Accumulating approximately 8,000 steps/day is a good proxy for 30 minutes of daily MVPA, while accumulating 7,000 steps/day every day of the week is consistent with obtaining 150 minutes of weekly MVPA.