OBJECTIVE: Laboratory studies of adult walking behavior have consistently found that a cadence of 100steps/min is a reasonable threshold for moderate intensity. The purpose of this study was to determine cadence patterns in free-living adults, and in particular, time spent at increasing cadence increments including 100steps/min and beyond.
METHOD: 3744 adults >/=20years provided at least one valid day (minimally 10/24h of wear) of minute-by-minute accelerometer-determined step data during the 2005-2006 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Means for time spent (min/day) and steps/day were calculated for 8 cadence categories including zero and each incremental cadence band thereafter beginning with 1-19 through 100-119, and beyond to 120+steps/min.
RESULTS: U.S. adults accumulate congruent with4.8h/day of zero cadence during wearing time, congruent with8.7h between 1 and 59steps/min, congruent with16min/day at cadences of 60-79steps/min, congruent with8min at 80-99steps/min, congruent with5min at 100-119steps/min, and congruent with2min at 120+steps/min.
CONCLUSION: Self-selected walking at 100+steps/min was a rare phenomenon in this large free-living sample of the U.S. population, but study participants did accumulate congruent with30min/day at cadences of 60+steps/min.