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Hundred Steps Per Minute May Be Good Fitness Goal

Treadmill tests show this pace provides general indicator of walking at moderate intensity

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Taking 3,000 steps in 30 minutes on most days of the week might be a good pace for people to follow to protect their health, according to research published online March 17 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Simon J. Marshall, Ph.D., of San Diego State University in San Diego, Calif., and colleagues analyzed data from 97 adults with a mean body mass index of 28.8 who took part in four six-minute sessions on a treadmill set at different speeds. Their oxygen uptake was measured, and their steps were counted with a pedometer. The authors defined moderate-intensity exercise as 3 METs.

The investigators found that walking at a moderately intense pace is roughly equal to at least 100 steps per minute. However, since only about half of subjects could be classified as walking at a moderate intensity based on step rate alone, this pace should only be used as a general guideline, they write.

"The authors believe that their evidence does support a public health recommendation of walking at least 3000 steps in 30 minutes on five days each week (or three daily bouts of 1000 steps in 10 minutes on five days each week) to help meet current physical activity recommendations. This recommendation should not be used as precise criterion but as a health promotion heuristic to help people lead more active lifestyles," the authors conclude.

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