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. 2018, 3(1), 1-5
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-3-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Pedometer Measured Step Counts and Bone Mineral Density among Premenopausal Women

Stephanie M. Otto1, and Maggie K. King1

1Department of Health and Exercise Science, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, 56082, US

Pub. Date: February 01, 2018

Cite this paper:
Stephanie M. Otto and Maggie K. King. Pedometer Measured Step Counts and Bone Mineral Density among Premenopausal Women. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2018; 3(1):1-5. doi: 10.12691/jpar-3-1-1


Pedometers have become popular physical activity measurement tools and have proven to be valid and reliable. Opportunity for bone impact comes mostly from weight bearing physical activity and is captured by the use of these devises. However, there is question about the intensity of impact needed to stimulate changes in bone tissue. Research focused on walking activity, which comprises a majority of daily physical activity for most individuals, has resulted in conflicting effects on the commencement of bone tissue remodeling. The purpose of this study was to measure pedometer based daily physical activity and determine whether these data significantly correlate with aBMD (areal bone mineral density) (g/cm2) measures among premenopausal women. A secondary purpose was to look specifically at the relationship between moderate intensity level data and aBMD. Forty-two pre-menopausal women from central Minnesota participated in the summer of 2011. Body mass index, calcium, vitamin D, total, and moderate intensity steps were tallied, and hip and lumbar spine aBMD was measured. Significant bivariate correlations (p < .05) were found between calcium and femoral, lumbar spine, and L2 aBMD measures. No correlations were found between age or vitamin D intake and aBMD measures. Significant bivariate correlations were also found between body mass index and L1, L3, L4, and total hip aBMD. No significant bivariate correlations were found between aBMD measures and total step or moderate intensity counts. Partial correlations, controlling for calcium and body mass index, did not reveal any correlations between total or moderate step counts and aBMD. It is plausible to conclude that the Omron HJ-303 pedometer may not be an appropriate tool for tracking bone building activity. Researchers need to continue to look for a consumer tool that effectively tracks this type of activity for those interested in improving bone health.

osteoporosis activity monitor bone remodeling

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


[1]  International Osteoporosis Foundation. "Facts and Statistics",, 2015. Accessed February 1, 2015.
[2]  MacInnis, R.J., Cassar, C., Nowson, C.A., Patton, L.M., Flicker, L., Hopper, J.L., Larkins, R.G., Wark, J.D. "Determinants of bone density in 30- to 65-year-old women: a co-twin study", Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 18(9), 1650-1656, 2003.
[3]  Moisio, K.C., Hurwitz, D.E., Sumner, D.R. "Dynamic loads are determinants of peak bone mass", Journal of Orthopedic Research, 22(2), 339-345, 2004.
[4]  Finkelstein, J.S., Brockwell, S.E., Mehta, V., Greendale, G.A., Sowers, M.R., Ettinger, B., Lo, J.C., Johnston, J.M., Cauley, J.A., Danielson, M.E., Neer, R.M. "Bone mineral density changes during the menopause transition in a multiethnic cohort of women", Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 93, 861-876, 2008.
[5]  Creieghton, D.L., Morgan, A.L., Boardley, D., Brolinson, P.G. "Weight-bearing exercise and markers of bone turnover in female athletes", Journal of Applied Physiology, 90, 565-570, 2001.
[6]  Schneider, P.L., Crouter, S.E., Bassett, D.R. "Accuracy and reliability of 10 pedometers for measuring steps over a 400-m walk", Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise, 35, 1779-1784, 2003.
[7]  Foley, S., Quinn, G., Jones, G. "Pedometer determined ambulatory activity and bone mass: a population-based longitudinal study in older adults", Osteoporosis International, 21, 1890-1816, 2010.
[8]  Borer, K.T., Fogleman, K., Gross, M., La New, J.M., Dengel, D. "Walking intensity for postmenopausal bone mineral preservation and accrual", 41 (4), 713-721, 2007.
[9]  Dehghan, M. and Merchant, A.T. "Is bioelectrical impedance accurate for use in large epidemiological studies?", Nutrition Journal, 7, 26, 2008.
[10]  NIH 2013. Calcium. "Dietary supplement fact sheet", Retrieved January 19, 2015, www.
[11]  Park, H., Togo, F., Watanabe, E., Yasunaga, A., Park, S., Shephard, R.J., Aoyagi, Y. "Relationship of bone health to yearlong physical activity in older Japanese adults: cross-sectional data from the Nakanojo Study", Osteoporosis International, 18, 285-293, 2007.
[12]  Omron Instruction Manual. "Go Smart", Tri Axial Pocket Pedometer, 2008.
[13]  Steves, J.A., Tyo, B.M., Connolly, C.P., Gregory, D.A., Stark, N.A., Bassett, D.R. "Validity and reliability of the Omron HJ-303 tri-axial accelerometer-based pedometer", Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8, 1014-1020, 2011.
[14]  Yang, J.Y., Kim, M.K., Hwang, S.H., Ahn, Y., Shim, J.E., Kim, D.H. "Relative validities of 3-day food records and the food frequency questionnaire", Nutrition Research and Practice, 4, 142-14, 2010.
[15]  Tudor-Locke, C., Craig, C.L., Aoyagi, Y., Bell, R.C., Croteau, K.A., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Ewald, B., Gardner, A.W., Hatano, Y., Lutes, L.D., Matsudo, S.M., Ramirez-Marrero, F.A., Rogers, L.Q., Rowe, D.A., Schmidt, M.D., Tully, M.A., Blair, S.N. "How many steps/day are enough? For older and adults and special populations", International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8, 79, 2011.
[16]  Bischoff-Ferrari, H.A. "Three steps to unbreakable bones. Vitamin D, calcium, and exercise", International Osteoporosis Foundation, Nyon, Switzerland,, 2011.
[17]  Lanyon, L.E., Rubin, C.T. "Static vs dynamic loads as an influence on bone remodeling", Journal of Biomechanics, 17, 879-905, 1984.
[18]  Frost, H.M. "Vital biomechanics: proposed general concepts for skeletal adaptations to mechanical usage", Calcified Tissue International, 42, 145-156, 1998.
[19]  Nikander, R., Sievanen, H., Heinonen, A., Kannus, P. "Femoral loading modalities", Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 20, 520-528, 2005.
[20]  Cummings, S.R., Nevitt, M.C., Browner, W.S. "Risk factors for hip fracture in white women. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group", New England Journal of Medicine, 332 (12), 767┬ĘC773, 1995.
[21]  Feskanich, D., Willett, W., Colditz, G. "Walking and leisure-time activity and risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women", JAMA, 288 (18), 2300-2306, 2002.
[22]  Martyn-St James, M., Carrol, S. "Effects of different impact exercise modalities on bone mineral density in premenopausal women: a meta-analysis", Journal of Bone Mineral Metabolism, 28, 251-267, 2010.