Pedometer-measured physical activity among emergency physicians during shifts

Am J Emerg Med. 2020 Jan;38(1):118-121. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2019.07.019. Epub 2019 Jul 17.


Objective: Tools to measure physical activity, such as pedometers, have become more prevalent and attracted popular interest in recent years. Despite this trend, research has not yet quantified pedometer-measured physical activity among Emergency Physicians. This study aims to provide the first characterization of physical activity among on-duty Emergency Physicians in terms of step count.

Methods: Emergency Physicians wore Empatica E4 research-grade accelerometers while performing routine clinical care in the Emergency Department. A publicly available algorithm was used to estimate the number of steps taken.

Results: Fifty-one Emergency Physicians, including thirty-four residents and seventeen attending physicians, contributed over 1500 h of accelerometer data. On average, this cohort took 577 steps per hour (SD: 72.6), totaling 4950 steps per recorded shift (SD: 737.8), which is approximately 2.6 miles (SD: 0.31). Residents walked more than attending physicians (595.9 steps per hour (SD: 99.7) vs 563.0 steps per hour (SD: 89.0), respectively; p = 0.02).

Conclusion: The average emergency physician in this cohort walked roughly half the daily recommended number of steps during their recorded shift. Residents walk significantly more than attending physicians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry / instrumentation
  • Accelerometry / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital*
  • Middle Aged
  • Walking*
  • Young Adult