Using Pedometers to Estimate Ambulatory Physical Activity in Vietnam

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Au Bich Thuy
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Leigh Blizzard
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Michael Schmidt
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Costan Magnussen
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Emily Hansen
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Terence Dwyer
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Background:

Pedometer measurement of physical activity (PA) has been shown to be reliable and valid in industrialized populations, but its applicability in economically developing Vietnam remains untested. This study assessed the feasibility, stability and validity of pedometer estimates of PA in Vietnam.

Methods:

250 adults from a population-based survey were randomly selected to wear Yamax pedometers and record activities for 7 consecutive days. Stability and concurrent validity were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Spearman correlation coefficients.

Results:

Overall, 97.6% of participants provided at least 1 day of usable recordings, and 76.2% wore pedometers for all 7 days. Only 5.2% of the sample participants were involved in work activities not measurable by pedometer. The number of steps increased with hours of wear. There was no significant difference between weekday and weekend in number of steps, and at least 3 days of recordings were required (ICC of the 3 days of recordings: men 0.96, women 0.97). Steps per hour were moderately correlated (men r = .42, women r = .26) with record estimates of total PA.

Conclusions:

It is feasible to use pedometers to estimate PA in Vietnam. The measure should involve at least 3 days of recording irrespective of day of the week.

Au, Blizzard, Schmidt, Magnussen, and Hansen are with the Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia. Dwyer is with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

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