Background: We examined whether daily step counts under free-living conditions differed among four types of pedometers used by primary school children. Methods: In Study one, we compared the Yamax SW-200 (widely used in research) and the Kenz Lifecorder (accelerometer-based pedometer) in 30 children (6-12 years). In Study two, after confirming good correlation between these devices, we used Kenz Lifecorder as the criterion device and compared it with the Yamasa EX-200 (pants pocket-type pedometer) and the Omron Active style Pro (accelerometer-based pedometer) among 48 (7-12 years) or 108 children (7-12 years). Results: In Study one, comparable mean step counts between pedometers were observed. The correlation was strong (r = 0.91); the average difference between these two pedometers was +4.5%. In Study two, the average differences between Kenz Lifecorder and Yamasa EX-200 and Kenz Lifecorder and Omron Active style Pro were -7.9% and -18.2%, respectively, and those were not significantly equivalent according to the two one-sided-tests method. The correlations between Yamasa or Omron Active style Pro and Lifecorder were moderate and strong, respectively. Conclusions: The choice of pedometer had a substantial impact on step counts. A consensus on the appropriate pedometer for quantifying daily step counts is needed for evidence-based recommendations for health promotion.
Keywords: acceleration; children; physical activity.