Accuracy of Thresholds Based on Cadence and Lifestyle Counts per Minute to Detect Outdoor Walking in Older Adults With Mobility Limitations

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Objective: To determine the optimal threshold, based on cadence and lifestyle counts per minute, to detect outdoor walking in mobility-limited older adults. Methods: Older adults (N = 25, median age: 77.0 years, interquartile range: 10.5) wore activity monitors during 80 outdoor walks. Walking bouts were identified manually (reference standard) and compared with identification using cadence thresholds (≥30, ≥35, ≥40, ≥45, and ≥50 steps/min) and >760 counts per minute using low frequency extension analysis. Results: Median walking bout duration was 10.5 min (interquartile range 4.8) and median outdoor walking speed was 0.70 m/s (interquartile range 0.20). Cadence thresholds of ≥30, ≥35, and ≥40 steps/min demonstrated high sensitivity (1.0, 95% confidence intervals [0.95, 1.0]) to detect walking bouts; estimates for specificity and positive predictive value were highest for ≥40 steps/min. Conclusion: A cadence threshold of ≥40 steps/min is recommended for detecting sustained outdoor walking in this population.

Webber, Hahn, Tittlemier, and Barclay are with the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Lix is with the Department of Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Salbach is with the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Webber (sandra.webber@umanitoba.ca) is corresponding author.
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