Measuring physical activity with pedometers in older adults with intellectual disability: reactivity and number of days

Intellect Dev Disabil. 2012 Aug;50(4):343-51. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-50.4.343.


The minimum number of days of pedometer monitoring needed to estimate valid average weekly step counts and reactivity was investigated for older adults with intellectual disability. Participants (N = 268) with borderline to severe intellectual disability ages 50 years and older were instructed to wear a pedometer for 14 days. The outcome measure was steps per day. Reactivity was investigated with repeated measures analysis of variance, and monitoring frame was assessed by comparing combinations of days with average weekly step counts (with intraclass correlation coefficients [ICCs] and regression analyses). No reactivity was present. Any combination of 4 days resulted in ICCs of 0.96 or higher and 90% of explained variance. The study concludes that any 4 days of wearing a pedometer is sufficient to validly measure physical activity in older adults with intellectual disability.

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy / methods
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Time Factors
  • Walking / physiology