South African Journal of Sports Medicine
On-line version ISSN 2078-516X
PILLAY, J D et al. Steps that count: pedometer-measured physical activity, self-reported physical activity and current physical guidelines - how do they relate?. SA J. Sports Med. [online]. 2014, vol.26, n.3, pp. 77-81. ISSN 2078-516X. http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/SAJSM.534.
BACKGROUND: The association between self-perceived and actual physical activity, with particular reference to physical activity guidelines, may be an important factor in determining the extent of uptake of and compliance with physical activity OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between self-perceived and actual physical activity in relation to physical activity guidelines, with reference to volume, intensity and duration of steps/day, and to establish the level of agreement between pedometer-measured and self-reported ambulatory physical activity, in relation to current guidelines METHODS: A convenience sample of adults (N=312; mean (standard deviation) age 37 (9) years), wore a pedometer (minimum 3 consecutive days) and completed a questionnaire that included information on physical activity patterns. Analyses of covariance, adjusted for age and gender, compared volume- and intensity-based steps according to meeting/not meeting guidelines (self-reported). The extent of agreement between self-reported and pedometer-measured physical activity was also determined RESULTS: Average (SD) steps/day were 6 574 (3 541). Of a total of 312 participants' self-reported data, those meeting guidelines (n=63) accumulated significantly more steps/day than those not meeting guidelines (8 753 (4 251) v. 6 022 (3 114) total steps/day and 1 772 (2 020) v. 421 (1 140) aerobic steps/day, respectively; p<0.0001). More than half of the group who self-reported meeting the guidelines did not meet guidelines as per pedometer data CONCLUSION: The use of pedometers as an alternative and/or adjunct to self-reported measures is an area for consideration. Steps/day recommendations that consider intensity-based steps may provide significant effects in improving fitness and health