Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 89–92 | Cite as

Can older adults improve the identification of moderate intensity using walking cadence?

  • A. G. McLellan
  • Jana Slaght
  • C. M. Craig
  • A. Mayo
  • M. Sénéchal
  • Danielle R. BouchardEmail author
Short Communication



The majority of older adults do not reach the physical activity guidelines. One possible explanation for this may be that older adults overestimate their physical activity levels, because they are unable to identify exercise intensity.


Forty-four older adults were recruited and randomly assigned into two walking groups lasting 6 weeks. The intervention group was asked to walk a minimum of 150 min per week at moderate intensity using walking cadence indicated with a pedometer. The control group did not get any feedback on walking intensity.


The ability to identify moderate intensity while walking did not significantly improve in neither groups (p = 0.530). However, participants in the intervention group increased significantly the time spent at moderate intensity, in 10 min bouts (p < 0.01).


A pedometer providing walking cadence to reach moderate intensity is a good tool for increasing time walked at the recommended intensity, but not because participants know more what is considered moderate intensity.


walking intensity perception step rate 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


This project was funded by the Manitoba Medical Services Foundation # 8-2013-06RS.

Statement of human and animal rights

The project was approved by the University of Manitoba Ethics Board E204:062.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained for all participants’ 8-2013-06RS.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of KinesiologyUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of KinesiologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Children’s Hospital Research Institute of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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