Quantifying Physical Activity in Physical Education via Pedometry: A Further Analysis of Steps/Min Guidelines

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Philip W. Scruggs
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The validity of common pedometer steps/min guidelines for 1st−12th grade physical education physical activity (PA) recommendations (ie, 33% and 50% PA) was investigated.


Data sets from previous research, where physical education PA was quantified via pedometry, were combined. Participants (1st−12th grade, N = 1152) with concurrent steps/min and observed %PA scores were included. Data were analyzed using correlation, regression, and receiver-operator-characteristic (ROC) statistics. Alpha was set at .05.


Overall, by gender and school level group (ie, 1st−6th, 7th−12th) PA outcome measures were strongly correlated and significant (r = .85–.92). Steps/min2, lesson time3, stature4, and BMI5 were significant predictors (r12•345=.91) of %PA1. Steps/min accounted for 85.4% of the variance for %PA; however, the other predictors only accounted for an additional 0.5%. ROC analyses indicated that steps/min was an excellent discriminator (AUC ≥ .90) of %PA guideline achievement. Steps/min values of 60.6 and 82.2 were the most accurate cut points overall for the 33% and 50% PA guidelines, respectively. Steps/min cut points for gender and school level demonstrated agreement with the overall steps/min cut points.


These findings support the contention that common steps/min guidelines can be applied in the surveillance of physical education PA.

The author is with the Dept of Movement Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID.

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