Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

More Steps per Minute Are Key to Meeting Activity Goals

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

More Steps per Minute Are Key to Meeting Activity Goals

Article excerpt

Public health recommendations to get 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity could by met by walking 100 steps per minute in that time, but the number of steps needed varies depending on a person's height, preliminary data in a small study suggest.

The study investigators measured the height, body mass index, and leg length of 20 healthy adults, then measured oxygen uptake by connecting them to a portable spirometer during five 6-minute walks at different speeds, interspersed with periods of sitting. One of the researchers set the pace in front of the subject using a distance-measuring wheel and cycle computer, and another followed behind to measure steps taken using a hand-operated counter (J. Sci. Med. Sport 2010 [doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2009.11.002]).

They defined moderate-intensity activity as expending three metabolic equivalents (METs), with each MET defined as oxygen uptake of 3.5 mL/kg per minute. By using the subjects' mean values for body mass index and leg length, they estimated that 100 steps per minute would be needed to expend 3 METs, the investigators reported. …

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