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Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 4641203, 12 pages
Review Article

Walking Cadence to Exercise at Moderate Intensity for Adults: A Systematic Review

1Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
2Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada

Correspondence should be addressed to D. R. Bouchard; ac.bnu@drahcuob.elleinad

Received 19 December 2016; Revised 1 March 2017; Accepted 5 March 2017; Published 28 March 2017

Academic Editor: Mark Willems

Copyright © 2017 J. Slaght et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Most adults choose walking as a leisure activity. However, many do not reach the international physical activity guidelines for adults, which recommend moderate intensity aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes/week in bouts of 10 minutes. Purpose. This systematic review provides an update on the walking cadence required to reach moderate intensity in adults and older adults, identifies variables associated with reaching moderate intensity, and evaluates how walking cadence intensity should be measured, but the main purpose is to report the interventions that have been attempted to prescribe walking cadence to increase time spent at moderate intensity or other outcomes for adults and older adults. Methods. SportDISCUS, Scopus, and PubMed databases were searched. We identified 3,917 articles and 31 were retained for this systematic review. Only articles written in English were included. Results. In general, 100 steps/minute is prescribed for adults to achieve moderate intensity, but older adults may require a higher cadence. Currently, few studies have explored using walking cadence prescription as an intervention to increase physical activity levels. Conclusion. Prescribing walking cadence as a way to increase physical activity levels has potential as a practical and useful strategy, but more evidence is required to assess its ability to increase physical activity levels at moderate intensity.