Original Research Article
Do children take the same number of steps every day?
Version of Record online: 1 JUN 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Human Biology
Volume 19, Issue 4, pages 537–543, July/August 2007
How to Cite
Wickel, E. E., Eisenmann, J. C., Pangrazi, R. P., Graser, S. V., Raustorp, A., Tomson, L. M. and Cuddihy, T. F. (2007), Do children take the same number of steps every day?. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 19: 537–543. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.20613
- Issue online: 1 JUN 2007
- Version of Record online: 1 JUN 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 NOV 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 3 NOV 2006
- Manuscript Received: 28 SEP 2006
The purpose of this study was to examine the day-to-day variability in pedometer-assessed physical activity (steps/day). A total of 1,443 children aged 6–12 years from the United States (195 boys, 254 girls), Sweden (257 boys, 252 girls), and Australia (229 boys, 256 girls) wore a pedometer for 4 consecutive weekdays. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to examine daily differences in steps/day and the coefficient of variation (CV) was calculated for each individual to describe the day-to-day variability. Overall, mean steps/day were higher among boys (14,698 ± 3,373 steps/day) than girls (12,086 ± 2,929 steps/day). Significant differences were found between the 4 monitoring days for the entire sample; however, the absolute mean differences were small (55–958 steps) with an overall effect size of 0.01. This trend was apparent regardless of age, gender, and country. Individual CVs ranged from ∼2 to 88% and the overall mean CV approximated 22%. An age-related increase in the mean CV was observed between 6- and 12-year-old children. The age × gender × country interaction was not significant (P > 0.05). These findings have implications toward the proper design, analysis, and interpretation of studies regarding physical activity among children. Beyond this aspect, our results lend insight into potential age-related biological mechanisms that may also influence daily levels and patterns of physical activity. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 19:537–543, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.