, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 271-276,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 30 Apr 2010

Steps to Better Cardiovascular Health: How Many Steps Does It Take to Achieve Good Health and How Confident Are We in This Number?

Abstract

Pedometers and other types of step-counting devices are growing in popularity with both researchers and practitioners. The focus of this article is on describing the most recent pedometer-related advances in terms of cardiovascular health. The emergent body of evidence suggests that pedometer-determined physical activity is related to a number of cardiovascular health outcomes and that intervention participants can realize modest changes in body mass index and blood pressure. Taking into consideration individual baseline values, tailored messages congruent with public health recommendations should promote incremental increases in steps/day on the order of an extra 3,000 to 4,000 (approximately 30 min) of at least moderate intensity and taken in at least 10-minute bouts. Additional health benefits accrue with greater increases. Of course, even more benefits are possible from engaging in vigorous physical activity, but this seems less appealing for most people. Pedometer-based guidelines are not intended to supplant existing public health recommendations, but rather supplement them.