The purpose was to compare step count accuracy of an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X+), a mechanical pedometer (Yamax SW200), and a piezoelectric pedometer (SC-StepMX). Older adults (n = 13 with walking aids, n = 22 without; M = 81.5 years old, SD = 5.0) walked 100 m wearing the devices. Device-detected steps were compared with manually counted steps. We found no significant differences among monitors for those who walked without aids (p = .063). However, individuals who used walking aids exhibited slower gait speeds (M = 0.83 m/s, SD = 0.2) than non–walking aid users (M = 1.21 m/s, SD = 0.2, p < .001), and for them the SC-StepMX demonstrated a significantly lower percentage of error (Mdn = 1.0, interquartile range [IQR] = 0.5−2.0) than the other devices (Yamax SW200, Mdn = 68.9, IQR = 35.9−89.3; left GT3X+, Mdn = 52.0, IQR = 37.1−58.9; right GT3X+, Mdn = 51.0, IQR = 32.3−66.5; p < .05). These results support using a piezoelectric pedometer for measuring steps in older adults who use walking aids and who walk slowly.
Webber is with the Dept. of Physical Therapy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Magill, Schaffer, and Wilson are with the School of Physical Therapy, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Address author correspondence to Sandra Webber at firstname.lastname@example.org