A collaborative study involving 14 researchers from the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, and Sweden has established preliminary guidelines for how many steps per day people should accumulate for weight control.
“We have put together recommendations for different age groups, but the material is more robust when it comes to women,” says Anders Raustorp, University of Kalmar, one of those taking the initiative for the study and director of the Swedish component. For women up to the age of 50 and for men, 10,000 steps a day is not sufficient for weight control.
The researchers have used the same pedometer, Yamax/KeepWalking LS2000, and identical methods in the various countries for determining the Body Mass Index (BMI). A group of 3,127 healthy adults, 19–94 years of age, with a mean age of 47, including 976 men, participated in the study. The research team has previously published recommendations for children aged 6–12 establishing that girls should accumulate 12,000 steps and boys 15,000 steps every day.
Anders Raustorp has done pioneering work when it comes to introducing the pedometer in Swedish research and Swedish public health efforts. One acclaimed study last autumn showed that if individuals set up goals and keep a journal for successive increases, their activity rises by 27% over a four-month period compared with a control group. Setting targets is thus a key to success.
The targets are based on recommendations developed by high-quality pedometers. Anders Raustorp emphasizes the importance of using validity-tested pedometers with no filter function. It is also important to bear in mind that more research is needed for the preliminary recommendations to be regarded as definitive.
The table below shows the steps-per-day recommendations for weight control
Age women - Steps per day
Age men - Steps per day
Journal reference: BMI - referenced cut-points for pedometer - determined steps/day in adults. Tudor-Locke, Bassett Jr, Rutherford, Ainsworth, Chan, Crocteau, Giles-Corti, Le Masurier, Moreau, Mrozek, Oppert, Raustorp, Strath, Thompson, Whitt-Glover, Wilde, Wojicik. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 2008 (5) Suppl 1. S126-S139.
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