The aims of this study were to investigate the relationships and agreement between average number of steps taken per day and compliance with Australian physical activity guidelines in a sample of working Australian adults.
One hundred-eighty-five adults wore a pedometer and recorded the number of steps taken each day for 7 d. On the 8th day, they completed a self-report survey that asked about frequency and duration of different activities during the previous week.
The average number of steps per day was 8543 (standard deviation = 2466) for men (n = 74) and 9093 (2926) for women (n = 111; no significant difference). Just over half the men (53%) and 45% of the women met the current national physical activity guidelines (no significant difference). Average number of steps per day was higher in those who met the guidelines [9547 (2655), n = 89] than in those who did not [8220 (2702), n = 96; P < 0.0001]. In general, the level of agreement between the 2 measures was only moderate. There was, however, better agreement between the 2 measures in women (Spearman’s ρ = 0.35; % agreement 67.5%; κ = 0.33, P < 0.0001) than in men (ρ = 0.21; % agreement 52.7%; κ = 0.08, NS).
This study provides an indication of average daily step counts among adults who do and do not meet physical activity guidelines and some evidence on which to base appropriate “step targets” that might be recommended for health benefits for adults.
The authors are with the School of Human Movement Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072 Australia.