Original article| Volume 94, ISSUE 4, P711-717, April 2013

Walking to Meet Physical Activity Guidelines in Knee Osteoarthritis: Is 10,000 Steps Enough?

Published:December 10, 2012DOI:



      To study if step goals (eg, walking 10,000 steps a day) approximate meeting the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.


      Cross-sectional observational cohort.




      People with or at high risk of knee OA (N=1788).



      Main Outcome Measures

      Objective physical activity data were collected over 7 consecutive days from people with or at high risk of knee OA participating in the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. Using activity monitor data, we determined the proportion that (1) walked ≥10,000 steps per day, (2) met the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines, and (3) achieved both recommendations.


      Of the subjects studied (mean age ± SD, 67±8y; mean body mass index ± SD, 31±6kg/m2; 60% women), 16.7% of men and 12.6% of women walked ≥10,000 steps per day, while 6% of men and 5% of women met the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Of those walking ≥10,000 steps per day, 16.7% and 26.7% of men and women, respectively, also met the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.


      Among this sample of older adults with or at high risk of knee OA, walking ≥10,000 steps a day did not translate into meeting public health guidelines. These findings highlight the disparity between the number of steps believed to be needed per day and the recommended time-intensity guidelines to achieve positive health benefits.


      List of abbreviations:

      BMI (body mass index), CI (confidence interval), DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services), MOST (Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study), OA (osteoarthritis), ROC (receiver operating characteristic)
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