Normative Peak 30-Min Cadence (Steps per Minute) Values for Older Adults: NHANES 2005–2006

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Walking cadence (steps per minute) is associated with the intensity of ambulatory behavior. This analysis provides normative values for peak 30-min cadence, an indicator of “natural best effort” during free-living behavior. A sample of 1,196 older adults (aged from 60 to 85+) with accelerometer data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2006 was used. Peak 30-min cadence was calculated for each individual. Quintile-defined values were computed, stratified by sex and age groups. Smoothed sex-specific centile curves across the age span were fitted using the LMS method. Peak 30-min cadence generally trended lower as age increased. The uppermost quintile value was >85 steps/min (men: 60–64 years), and the lowermost quintile value was <22 steps/min (women: 85+). The highest 95th centile value was 103 steps/min (men: 64–70 years), and the lowest 5th centile value was 15 steps/min (women: 85+). These normative values may be useful for evaluating older adults’ “natural best effort” during free-living ambulatory behavior.

Aguiar and Tudor-Locke are with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA. Schuna is with School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA. Barreira is with the School of Education, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA. Mire, Broyles, Katzmarzyk, and Johnson are with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.

Tudor-Locke (ctudorlocke@umass.edu) is corresponding author.
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