How much locomotive activity is needed for an active physical activity level: Analysis of total step counts

Kazunori Ohkawara, Kazuko Ishikawa-Takata, Jong Park, Izumi Tabata, Shigeho Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although physical activity recommendations for public health have focused on locomotive activity such as walking and running, it is uncertain how much these activities contribute to overall physical activity level (PAL). The purpose of the present study was to determine the contribution of locomotive activity to PAL using total step counts measured in a calorimeter study. Methods. PAL, calculated as total energy expenditure divided by basal metabolic rate, was evaluated in 11 adult men using three different conditions for 24-hour human calorimeter measurements: a low-activity day (L-day) targeted at a low active level of PAL (1.45), and a high-frequency moderate activity day (M-day) or a high-frequency vigorous activity day (V-day) targeted at an active level of PAL (1.75). These subjects were permitted only light activities except prescribed activities. In a separate group of 41 adults, free-living PAL was evaluated using doubly-labeled water (DLW). In both experiments, step counts per day were also measured using an accelerometer. Results: In the human calorimeter study, PAL and step counts were 1.42 0.10 and 8,973 543 steps/d (L-day), 1.82 0.14 and 29,588 1,126 steps/d (M-day), and 1.74 0.15 and 23,755 1,038 steps/d (V-day), respectively. In the DLW study, PAL and step counts were 1.73 0.15 and 10,022 2,605 steps/d, and there was no significant relationship between PAL and daily step counts. Conclusions: These results indicate that an enormous number of steps are needed for an active level of PAL if individuals extend physical activity-induced energy expenditure by only locomotive activity. Therefore, non-locomotive activity such as household activity should also play a significant role in increasing PAL under free-living conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number512
JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'How much locomotive activity is needed for an active physical activity level: Analysis of total step counts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this