Objectives: In the absence of a gold standard, the assessment of physical activity in children remains difficult. To record physical activity with a pedometer and to examine to what extent it is correlated with VO2max.
Methods: Survey on physical activity and fitness; 233 Swiss adolescents aged 11 to 15 carried a pedometer (Pedoboy) during seven consecutive days. VO2max was estimated through an endurance shuttle run test.
Results: The physical activity recorded by the pedometer did not vary from one day to the other (p > 0.05). The physical activity was higher among boys than among girls (p < 0.001) and higher among younger adolescents (6th versus 8th grade; p < 0.001). The correlation between physical activity and estimated VO2max was 0.30 (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: The use of a pedometer to assess physical activity over one entire week is feasible among adolescents. The record provided by the pedometer gives an objective measure of the usual physical activity and, as such, is relatively well correlated with aerobic capacity.