This study investigated the number of pedometer assessment occasions required to establish habitual physical activity in African American adults.
African American adults (mean age 59.9 ± 0.60 years; 59 % female) enrolled in the Diet and Physical Activity Substudy of the Jackson Heart Study wore Yamax pedometers during 3-day monitoring periods, assessed on two to three distinct occasions, each separated by approximately one month. The stability of pedometer measured PA was described as differences in mean steps/day across time, as intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) by sex, age, and body mass index (BMI) category, and as percent of participants changing steps/day quartiles across time.
Valid data were obtained for 270 participants on either two or three different assessment occasions. Mean steps/day were not significantly different across assessment occasions (p values > 0.456). The overall ICCs for steps/day assessed on either two or three occasions were 0.57 and 0.76, respectively. In addition, 85 % (two assessment occasions) and 76 % (three assessment occasions) of all participants remained in the same steps/day quartile or changed one quartile over time.
The current study shows that an overall mean steps/day estimate based on a 3-day monitoring period did not differ significantly over 4 – 6 months. The findings were robust to differences in sex, age, and BMI categories. A single 3-day monitoring period is sufficient to capture habitual physical activity in African American adults.