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Scand J Public Health. 2011 Nov;39(7):669-77. doi: 10.1177/1403494811420324. Epub 2011 Sep 5.

Daily steps among Finnish adults: variation by age, sex, and socioeconomic position.

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  • 1Department of Sport Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.



The aim of this study was to provide descriptive population-based pedometer data from adults aged 30-45 years in Finland, and to compare daily step counts with evidence-based indices.


The data was collected from 1853 participants in 7 consecutive days in winter 2007-08 in part of 27-year follow up of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study.


The participants took (mean±standard deviation) 7499 ± 2908 steps/day. Step counts included 1925 ± 2052 aerobic steps/day gathered in bouts of at least 10 min continuous ambulatory activity. Women had more total steps than men ((7824 ± 2925 vs. 7089 ± 2774; p < 0.001). Although participants had higher mean total steps on weekdays than on weekend days, they took more aerobic steps on weekend days than weekdays (p < 0.001). High-level non-manual work, and unemployment were associated with having fewer total steps, but high-level non-manual workers had more aerobic steps than other occupation groups. According to pedometer thresholds proposed by Tudor-Locke and Basset, 26% of men and 16% of women could be classified as inactive (<5000 steps/day) and 20% of women and 15% of men would be classified as active (>10,000 steps/day).


We conclude that about one-quarter of men and one-fifth of women are considered as inactive, based on the number of daily total steps. Our results suggest that total steps may provide a very different picture of activity from aerobic steps; important differences are evident by socioeconomic position and day of the week.

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