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Background:

Tracking refers to the tendency for an individual to maintain their rank within a group over time. This study longitudinally investigated the 8-year tracking of pedometer-determined physical activity among physically independent elderly Japanese people aged 72 to 80 years.

Methods:

Steps/day were measured when participants were aged 72 and assessed again after 2, 5, and 8 years. The number of participants with a 2-year follow-up (72 to 74 years) was 177 (101 males, 76 females), with a 5-year follow-up (72 to 77 years) was 183 people (110 males, 73 females), and with an 8-year follow-up (72 to 80 years) was 145 people (91 males, 54 females). Step counts were continuously measured for 1 week in January, April, July, and October during each year of assessment.

Results:

A high rank correlation coefficient for steps/day exceeding 0.60 was obtained at the 2-, 5- and 8-year follow-up examinations for both males and females.

Conclusion:

This study suggests that the rank within a group of pedometer-determined steps/day remains stable over up to 8 years in healthy Japanese people aged between 72 to 80 years old.

Yamamoto (yamamoto.naofumi.mk@ehime-u.ac.jp) and Asai are with Ehime University, Matsuyama, Japan. Shimada is with Chiba Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Chiba, Japan. Nakagawa is with SANNO University, Isehara, Japan. Sawada is with the National Institutes of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan. Nishimuta is with Toyo University, Itakura, Japan. Kimura is with the Research Center for Fitness & Health Sciences, Tokyo, Japan. Ohashi is with the Faculty of Education, Niigata University, Niigata, Japan. Miyazaki is with the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata University, Niigata, Japan. Lee is with the Division of Preventive Medicine, Dept of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and the Dept of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Blair is with the Dept of Exercise Science and the Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Yoshitake is with the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Kanoya, Japan.