The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of spring-levered and piezoelectric pedometers for adults with and without Down syndrome (DS). Twenty adults with DS and 24 adults without a disability walked for two minute periods on a predetermined indoor course at a self-selected, slower and faster pace. Pedometer recorded and criterion observed steps were compared to determine pedometer error. There was a significant interaction between pedometer model and walking speed. Piezoelectric pedometers demonstrated significantly less measurement error than spring-levered pedometers, particularly at slower walking speeds. There were also significant differences in pedometer error between adults with and without DS. The study concludes that pedometer measurement error is significantly different for adults with DS but also that piezoelectric pedometers can be used in the future to measure walking activity for adults with and without DS.
E. Andrew Pitchford is currently with the Special Services Department at Uinta County School District #4 in Mountain View, Wyoming. Joonkoo Yun is with the Nutrition and Exercise Sciences Department at Oregon State University in Corvallis.