Many international agencies recommend using 40% of VO2reserve to individually prescribe moderate aerobic intensity to achieve health benefits. Few studies have evaluated the walking cadence needed to reach that intensity for older adults. A total of 121 apparently healthy adults with an average age of 69 and an average VO2peak of 24.1 ± 6.7 ml/kg/min (women) and 28.9 ± 9.1 ml/kg/min (men) were studied. Walking cadence at moderate intensity was established when participants reached 40% of VO2reserve on an indoor flat surface using a portable metabolic cart. Other clinical variables potentially associated with walking cadence were collected to create a clinical algorithm. Mean walking cadence to reach moderate intensity was 115 ± 10 steps per minute. The best algorithm to predict the walking cadence needed to reach moderate intensity in this sample was 113.6–0.23 (body weight in kg) + 0.21 (self-selected walking cadence in steps per minute).
Serrano, Slaght, Duhamel, and Bouchard are with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Sénéchal is with the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada. Duhamel is also with the Health, Leisure, and Human Performance Research Institute, Winnipeg, MB, Canada; and St-Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, MB, Canada