Table 1: Description of studies included in the systematic review.

Authors, year, reference #PurposeAge (years)Walking cadence to reach moderate intensityVariables associated with reaching moderate intensityStrategies, tools, and interventionsMain outcomes

Tudor-Locke and Rowe (2012) [15]Summarize the potential for using cadence to measure and promote intensity of activityReview articleMost studies find that 100 s/m elicits 3 METs (mod intensity)Focuses on what we can do with cadenceCadence appears to be sensitive to change with intervention100 s/m = 3 METS
Pedestrian cadence in natural conditions = 115 s/m. Lower cadence in free living

Abel et al. (2011) [16]Identify step rate thresholds for different intensities1928 ± 7Treadmill test at six standardized speeds. O2 consumption versus step rateMen: mod = 94 vig = 125
Women: mod = 99 vig = 135
100 s/m = practical public health recommendation for mod intensity

Beets et al. (2010) [17]Examine impact of leg length on steps per day associated with MPA2026 ± 5Overground walking, 5 speeds, portable gas analyserLeg length (related to step frequency)100 s/m = 3 METs
Increase leg length = decrease (−1.15) s/m
Range for MPA s/m = 85–111

Marshall et al. (2009) [18]Creating a pedometer-based guideline for PA recommendations9732 ± 114 speeds, O2 measured and steps. Step rate cut-point for mod = 3 METSMen 3 METs = 92–102 s/m
Women 3 METs = 91–115 s/m

Rowe et al. (2011) [19]What is the self-selected “brisk” walking pace in inactive adults2534 ± 13Mod intensity treadmill walking trial, steady state 02 measuredSelf-selected brisk walk = higher cadence than mod paceUsed metronome to assist in pacing mod intensitySelf-selected brisk = 124 ± 8 s/m. Mod pace (metronome) = 114 ± 8 s/m with EE > 3 METS

Tudor-Locke et al. (2005) [20]Pedometer-determined step count guidelines for walking intensity5018–396 min exercise bouts at 3 treadmill speeds and steady state VO2 recordedPedometer cut-points for minimal mod intensity = 96 s/m (men) and 107 s/m (women)

Nagasaki et al. (1996) [21]Walking patterns and finger rhythm1134≥65Step ratio = step length/cadence
Finger festination (rhythmic movement)
Older = shorter steps
Increased finger festination = increased step rate (smaller walk ratio)

Serrano et al. (2016) [22]Evaluate walking cadence needed to reach moderate intensity in older adults & develop an algorithm for prescription12169 ± 8Moderate intensity = when participants reached 40% of peak oxygen consumption on an indoor flat surfaceBody weight, stride length, and heightCreated an algorithm to predict mod intensity walking cadenceMean walking cadence to reach mod intensity was 115 ± 10 s/m

Peacock et al. (2014) [23]Stride rate and walking intensity in healthy older adults293 ground and 3 treadmill trails (slow, medium, and fast) VO2 measured (indirect calorimetry)Stride rate, age, and height have a significant effect () on walking intensitySynchronization between stride rate and music tempo found that music can be a useful way to guide walking cadenceMean s/m exceeded minimum thresholds MVPA; slow (111 ± 12 s/m), medium (118 ± 11 s/m), and fast (124 ± 11 s/m) instructions

Tudor-Locke et al. (2013) [24]Compare clinical and free-living cadence in older adults1561–81Gait speed (cm/sec) & cadence measured for 1 weekSteps/day, normal versus dual task walking, pedometer versus accel steps/dayThis group was able to walk at cadences > 100 s/m, but, on average, <10 min/day was spent above this cadenceShown that these adults were capable of walking at cadences ≥ 100 s/m, but this was uncommon in daily life

Tudor-Locke et al. (2012) [25]Analysis of NHANES for peak 30 min and 1 min cadence352220+Peak 30-minute cadence (highest s/m in a day, not necessarily consecutive minutes) & peak 1-minute cadence (the highest single minute in a day)Sex, age, and BMI30 min peak = 71 s/m
1 min peak = 100 s/m
Both show decline in cadence with age and obesity

Dall et al. (2013) [26]Comparing rate of stepping and number of steps in a minute epoch11746 ± 16Comparing step accumulation versus cadenceMost walking was not done continuously so cadence cannot be determined from step accumulation alone. These 2 measures are not interchangeable

Brown et al. (2014) [27]Determine if ability to walk ≥100 s/m predicts mortality in older adults500070.6Cadence calculated using 2.4 m walk and separated into ≥100 s/m versus <100 s/mCadences effect on mortalityAbility to walk ≥100 s/m predicted a 21% reduction in all-cause mortality. Each 10-step increase predicted a 4% reduction

Ayabe et al. (2013) [28]Relationship between 1000 steps in 10 min (1k) and 3000 in 30 min (3k)3353 ± 19Accelerometer measured light, mod, and vigorous intensityBouts of exercise intensity >10 minutes# of steps (at all intensities) was higher on 1k or 3k days
1k duration not correlated with MVPA in >10 min bouts, unclear if cadence can be used to define MVPA

Taylor et al. (2010) [29]Objective and subjective assessment of normal walking pace versus moderate intensity1054 ± 8Normal walking pace measured using GPS over a 1 km outdoor walk and a timed 150 m trialHeight was significantly correlated with walking paceUse of GPS for measurement has potential, allowing measurement in a real life settingAll participants walked at a pace considered as moderate intensity (≥1.34 m/sec)

Spyropoulos et al. (1991) [30]Identify and compare components of walking gait between obese and nonobese men1230–47Walking gait measured with cinematography in min/secBody weightObese = slower walking speed, shorter stride length, smaller cadence, and larger step width

Ayabe et al. (2011) [31]Comparing stepping rate between normal weight and overweight/obese individuals4058 ± 8Pedometer for 7 days to determine the number of steps and time spent in PA at <100, 100–129, 130 s/mBMI (<25 kg m−2 or 25 kg m−2)Overweight = sig. less steps/day, lower average stepping rate, and sig. shorter time in PA at 100 s/m

Rowe et al. (2013) [32]Determine the role of height and stride length in mod intensity walking cadence7533 ± 123 overground and 3 treadmill trails (slow, medium, and fast) VO2 measured (indirect calorimetry)Measured and 5 stride length variables and heightHeight needs to be taken into consideration for more precise prescription of walking cadenceHeight can cause cadence at mod intensity to vary more than 20 s/m (90–113)

Pillay et al. (2014) [33]Examining the relationship between intensity and fitness/health outcomes for pedometer7032 ± 8Pedometer classified aerobic as ≥60 s/m and nonaerobic as <60. Also collected total steps per dayEstimated VO2 max, BP, BMI, BF%, WC, age, gender, and total steps/dayTotal steps/day and time accumulating “aerobic” steps inversely associated with BF%, BMI, WC, and systolic BP

Nielson et al. (2011) [34]Determine accuracy of steps counts and EE as estimated100>50Step counts and energy expenditure were estimated with a pedometer while walking 80, 90, 100, 110, and 120 s/mUsed metronome to help guide the 5 different step frequencies on the treadmillPedometer underestimated EE at 80 s/m and overestimated it at 90, 100, 110, and 120 s/m

Wittwer et al. (2013) [35]Music and metronome cues effects on gait in healthy older adults19>65Music versus metronomeMusic = increase in gait velocity
Both music and metronome = small increase in cadence (1 s/m)
Music and metronome cues produce different effects on gait spatiotemporal measures but not gait variability in healthy older adults

Wittwer et al. (2013) [36]Effect of Rhythmic Auditory Cueing (RAC) on gait in people with Alzheimer Disease3080 ± 6Music versus metronomeBoth music and metronome = decreased stride lengthRAC produced damaging effects on gait in a single session in this group with AD

Nascimento et al. (2015) [37]Walking training on patients after stroke: a systematic review211Walking training with cueing of cadenceWalking training with cueing of cadence improves walking speed and stride length after stroke more than walking training alone

Foster et al. (2008) [38]The talk test as a marker of exercise training intensityRelationship between VT and the TT during various interventions and this suggests that the TT is suitable for exercise prescription

Persinger et al. (2004) [39]Consistency of the talk test for exercise prescription1624Support the hypothesis that the TT approximates VT on both treadmill and cycle

Slaght et al. (2016) [40]Walking cadence prescription to reach the global physical activity recommendations in older adults5570Mod intensity = when participants reached 40% of peak oxygen consumption on an indoor flat surfaceFeedback on reaching mod intensity versus no feedbackIndividualized cadence to reach mod intensity and feedback on ability to reach intensity = effectivePreviously inactive older adults can increase time at mod intensity in 10-minute bouts weekly by using individually prescribed walking cadence

Marshall et al. (2013) [41]Using step cadence goals to increase moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity18018–55Accelerometer-based PA was measured at baseline and after 12 weeks12-week intervention, 3 groups (self-selected, 10,000 steps per day, and 3000 steps in 30 min)Group assigned 3000 steps in 30 min had more MVPA in ≥10 min bouts

Barreira et al. (2016) [42]Pattern changes in step count accumulation and peak cadence due to a physical activity intervention12135–64Accelerometer to measure different cadence bands & peak 1 min, 30 min, and 60 min cadence2 groups; (1) diet and behaviour change, (2) diet and PA—increase steps/day and steps at MVPAFrom the period before to the period after intervention no difference between groups for steps/day. Diet and PA group did accumulate significantly more steps at higher cadences

Waterhouse et al. (2010) [43]Effects of music tempo upon submaximal cycling performance12Music tempo for cycling cadenceFaster tempo resulted in increased distance covered and cadenceFaster music = voluntarily increased workload

Bouchard et al. (2013) [44]Can older inactive adults learn how to reach the required intensity of physical activity guideline?25≥652 groups used ≥40% HRR for moderate intensity; pedometer group used 100 s/mTool used to measure moderate intensity and ability to identify moderate intensity3 different intervention methods (manual HR, HR monitor, and pedometer)No group improved time in MVPA and HR monitor and pedometer groups increased total activity time and the pedometer group, though not significant, showed a tendency to be able to better identify mod intensity

Tudor-Locke et al. (2014) [45]A randomized controlled trial of pedometer-based interventions differing on intensity messages12045–74Comparing total steps versus cadence to elicit moderate intensity3 groups; (1) 10,000 steps/day, (2) 10,000 steps/day & 30 min at mod intensity, and (3) controlThis study will improve understanding on benefits walking volume and/or intensity have

s/m: steps per minute, MET: metabolic equivalent, O2: oxygen, mod: moderate, vig: vigorous, MPA: moderate physical activity, PA: physical activity, EE: energy expenditure, VO2: oxygen uptake, accel: accelerometer, NHANES: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, BMI: body mass index, GPS: Global Positioning System, sig: significantly, BP: blood pressure, BF%: body fat percent, WC: waist circumference, RAC: rhythmic auditory cueing, AD: Alzheimer’s Disease, TT: talk test, VT: ventilatory threshold, HRR: heart rate at rest, HR: heart rate, and MVPA: moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.