Journal of Physical Activity Research
ISSN (Print): 2576-1919 ISSN (Online): 2574-4437 Website: Editor-in-chief: Peter Hart
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2019, 4(2), 103-107
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-4-2-4
Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Valid Pedometer Days on Average Daily Steps and Wear Time in Children

Natalie E. Houser1, , Scott W. Donald2 and Angela M. Kolen3

1College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

2Department of Kinesiology, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada

3Department of Human Kinetics, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Canada

Pub. Date: June 15, 2019

Cite this paper:
Natalie E. Houser, Scott W. Donald and Angela M. Kolen. The Impact of Valid Pedometer Days on Average Daily Steps and Wear Time in Children. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2019; 4(2):103-107. doi: 10.12691/jpar-4-2-4


Pedometers reliably measure physical activity with established guidelines regarding wear time for hours per day, days per week, and minimum and maximum steps to provide sufficient data. This paper examined children in grades 3 to 6 for potential differences in average steps and average wear time according to the number of days of pedometer data with at least 10 hours of self-reported wear time and steps between 1000 and 30,000. As part of the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy, physical activity data for a maximum of seven consecutive days were obtained from 852 (girls n=465; boys n=387) children using Piezo RX Steps Count pedometers. Average daily step count was 11,767 ± 3,284, slightly less than recommended; average self-reported wear time was 12.9 ± 0.9 hours. One-way ANOVAs demonstrated significant differences in average daily steps and average daily wear time between girls and boys and between grades. ANOVAs also examined differences in daily steps and wear time of the children when grouped according to valid days of pedometer data (1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7 days). In general, younger children (i.e., grades 3 & 4) wore the pedometer for less time than older children (i.e., grades 5 & 6). Given the significant differences in steps according to pedometer wear time found in this study, we may not be obtaining a thorough understanding of children’s physical activity behaviours. It may be helpful to include children with fewer than three days of pedometer wear time data to provide a better understanding of children’s physical activity levels as a whole and in particular for promoting physical activity for boys girls in varying grades.

boys and girls physical activity measurement pedometer criteria

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Beets, MW, Patton, MM, Edwards, S. The accuracy of pedometer steps and time during walking in children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005, 37(3). 513520.
[2]  Tremblay, MS, Carson, V, Chaput, J-P, et al. Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines for children and youth: An integration of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep. Appl Physiol Nutr Me. 2016, 41. 311-327.
[3]  Colley, RC, Janssen, I, Tremblay, MS. Daily step target to measure adherence to physical activity guidelines in children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012, 44(5). 977-982.
[4]  ParticipACTION. The Brain + Body Equation: Canadian kids need active bodies to build their best brains. The 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Toronto: ParticipACTION, 2018.
[5]  Colley, RC, Garriguet, D, Janssen, I, Craig, CL, Clarke, J, Tremblay, MS. Physical activity in Canadian children and youth: accelerometer results from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Rep. 2011, 22(1). 15-23.
[6]  Fukushima, N, Inoue, S, Hikihara, Y, et al. Pedometer-determined physical activity among youth in the Tokyo Metropolitan area: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2016, 16. 1-12.
[7]  Sherar, LB, Esliger, DW, Baxter-Jones, AD, Tremblay, MS. Age and gender differences in youth physical activity: Does physical maturity matter? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007, 39(5). 830-5.
[8]  Corder, K, van Sluijs, EM, Ekelund, U, Jones, AP, Griffin, SJ. Changes in children’s physical activity over 12 months: longitudinal results from the SPEEDY study. Pediatrics. 2010, 126(4). 926-935.
[9]  Thompson, AM, Baxter-Jones, AD, Mirwald, RT, Bailey, DA. Comparison of physical activity in male and female children: Does maturation matter? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003, 35(10). 1684-1690.
[10]  Tudor-Locke, C, Pangrazi, RP, Corbin, CB, et al. BMI-referenced standards for recommended pedometer determined steps/day in children. Prev. Med. 2004, 38(6). 857-864.
[11]  Colley, R, Connor Gorber, S, Tremblay, MS. Quality control and data reduction procedures for accelerometry-derived measures of physical activity. Health Reports. 2010, 21(1). 1-8.
[12]  Eisenmann, JC, Laurson, KR, Wickel, EE, Gentile, D, Walsh, D. Utility of pedometer step recommendations for predicting overweight in children. Int J Obes. 2007, 31. 1179-1182.
[13]  Pabayo, R, Gauvin, L, Barnett, TA, Nikiema, B, Seguin, L. Sustained active transportation is associated with a favorable body mass index trajectory across early school years. Findings from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development birth cohort. Prev. Med. 2010, 50(Suppl. 1). 59-64.
[14]  Craig, CL, Tudor-Locke, C, Cragg, S, Cameron, C. Process and treatment of pedometer data collection for youth: The Canadian physical activity levels among youth study. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2010, 42(3). 430-5.
[15]  Farooq, MA, Parkinson, KN, Adamson, AJ, et al. Timing of the decline in physical activity in childhood and adolescence: Gateshead Millennium Cohort Study. Br J Sports Med. 2018, 52. 1002-6.
[16]  Ho, V, Simmons, RK, Ridgway, CL, et al. Is wearing a pedometer associated with higher physical activity in adolescents? Prev Med. 2013, 56(5). 273-7.