This study aimed to determine the optimal number of steps per day needed to meet the current physical activity guidelines in a large population sample of Japanese adults.
An accelerometer-based activity monitor (Kenz Lifecorder) was used to simultaneously measure moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and step counts in 940 Japanese adults (480 women) aged 20 to 69 years. The step count per day equivalents to 2 different physical activity recommendations (23 MET-h/wk and 150 min/wk of MVPA) were derived using linear regression analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) methodology.
Linear regression analysis showed that daily step counts correlated with weekly PAEE (r = .83) and daily minutes of MVPA (r = .83). Linear regression analysis also showed that 23 MET-h/wk of MVPA is equivalent to 11,160 steps/d, and 150 min/wk of MVPA is equivalent to 7716 steps/d. ROC analysis yielded similar findings: 10,225 steps/d are required to accumulate ≥ 23 MET-h/wk of MVPA and 7857 steps/d are needed to meet the recommendation of ≥ 150 min/wk of MVPA.
The findings suggest that 10,000 to 11,000 and 7700 to 8000 steps/d represent the optimal thresholds for accumulating ≥ 23 MET-h/wk of MVPA and ≥ 150 min/wk of MVPA, respectively, for Japanese adults.