The primary objective of this study was to examine the relationship between heart rate intensity and pedometer step counts in adolescents. To determine cardiorespiratory fitness, 106 participants (47 boys, 59 girls, mean age 14.2 years, s = 0.8) completed the Queen's College Step Test and were classified as having low, moderate or high cardiorespiratory fitness. Adolescents also completed a 10-min treadmill trial while wearing a pedometer and heart rate monitor. The participants were instructed to maintain their heart rate between 65 and 75% of their maximum heart rate while running or walking on a treadmill. A heart rate of 65-75% maximum was associated with 146 steps per minute (s = 22) in boys and 137 steps per minute (s = 22) in girls. Results of analysis of variance indicated that there was a main effect for level of fitness (F2,102 = 9.36, P < 0.001). The correlation between mean steps per minute and estimated maximum oxygen consumption was statistically significant (r = 0.44, P < 0.001). The results from this study suggest that a step rate of 130 steps per minute is equal to 65-75% maximum heart rate in low-fit adolescents and achieving 130 steps per minute could be used as an initial goal to improve fitness.
Journal of Sports Sciences Vol. 27, Issue 6, p. 591-597