International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (2020-11-01)

Walking cadence (steps/min) and intensity in 41 to 60-year-old adults: the CADENCE-adults study

  • Catrine Tudor-Locke,
  • Scott W. Ducharme,
  • Elroy J. Aguiar,
  • John M. Schuna,
  • Tiago V. Barreira,
  • Christopher C. Moore,
  • Colleen J. Chase,
  • Zachary R. Gould,
  • Marcos A. Amalbert-Birriel,
  • Jose Mora-Gonzalez,
  • Stuart R. Chipkin,
  • John Staudenmayer

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17, no. 1
pp. 1 – 10


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Abstract Background In younger adults (i.e., those 13. Cadence was directly observed (i.e., hand tallied). Intensity (i.e., oxygen uptake [VO2] mL/kg/min) was assessed with an indirect calorimeter and converted to METs (1 MET = 3.5 mL/kg/min). A combination of segmented regression and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) modeling approaches was used to identify optimal cadence thresholds. Final heuristic thresholds were determined based on an evaluation of classification accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value, overall accuracy). Results The regression model identified 101.7 (95% Predictive Interval [PI]: 54.9–110.6) and 132.1 (95% PI: 122.0–142.2) steps/min as optimal cadence thresholds for 3 METs and 6 METs, respectively. Corresponding values based on ROC models were 98.5 (95% Confidence Intervals [CI]: 97.1–104.9) and 117.3 (95% CI: 113.1–126.1) steps/min. Considering both modeling approaches, the selected heuristic thresholds for moderate and vigorous intensity were 100 and 130 steps/min, respectively. Conclusions Consistent with our previous report in 21 to 40-year-old adults, cadence thresholds of 100 and 130 steps/min emerged as heuristic values associated with 3 and 6 METs, respectively, in 41 to 60-year-old adults. These values were selected based on their utility for public health messaging and on the trade-offs in classification accuracy parameters from both statistical methods. Findings will need to be confirmed in older adults and in free-living settings.