The relationship between daily steps and body composition in postmenopausal women

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2006 Mar;15(2):202-10. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2006.15.202.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) measured in steps per day and adiposity in postmenopausal women.

Methods: Ninety-three women aged 60.9 +/- 5.8 years participated in the study. Relative body fatness was determined by the measurement of height, body mass, percent body fat, trunk fat, and waist and hip circumference. Each subject wore a pedometer for 14 days after testing to measure daily steps. Correlation coefficients were calculated to examine the relationship between average steps per day and adiposity variables. Subjects were grouped according to PA tertiles. ANCOVA, with age as the covariate, was used to determine whether adiposity varied across activity groups.

Results: Significant inverse associations (p < 0.001) were found between average steps per day and all adiposity variables (r ranging from -0.487 to -0.368). Relationships remained significant after controlling for the influence of age and caloric intake. Also, there was a significant difference in adiposity variables among PA tertiles, with higher values found in the less active groups.

Conclusions: We demonstrated that postmenopausal women who take more daily steps have more favorable adiposity profiles. Additionally, the average body mass index (BMI) of the women in the active category (accumulating an average of 10,023 +/- 240 steps per day) was in the recommended range (24.1 +/- 0.9 kg/m(2)).

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Height / physiology
  • Body Size / physiology*
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ergometry / instrumentation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Women's Health*