Physical Activity Intensity of Singles and Doubles Pickleball in Older Adults

J Aging Phys Act. 2022 Sep 10;31(3):365-370. doi: 10.1123/japa.2022-0194. Print 2023 Jun 1.


The purpose of this study was to measure heart rate, activity intensity, and steps in recreational singles and doubles pickleball players. We collected data in 22 singles and 31 doubles players (62.1 ± 9.7 years of age) using Garmin Fenix 5 watches (Garmin International, Inc.) and ActiGraph GT3X+ (ActiGraph LLC) accelerometers. Mean heart rates during singles and doubles were 111.6 ± 13.5 and 111.5 ± 16.2 beats/min (70.3% and 71.2% of predicted maximum heart rate), respectively. Over 70% of singles and doubles playing time was categorized in moderate to vigorous heart rate zones whereas 80.5% of singles time and 50.4% of doubles time were moderate based on Freedson accelerometer cut-points. Steps per hour were higher in singles versus doubles (3,322 ± 493 vs. 2,791 ± 359), t(51) = 4.540, p < .001. Singles and doubles pickleball are moderate- to vigorous-intensity activities that can contribute substantially toward older adults meeting physical activity guidelines.

Keywords: accelerometer; cadence; heart rate.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise* / physiology
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Racquet Sports* / physiology