Measuring Physical Activity of Elementary School Children With Unsealed Pedometers: Compliance, Reliability, and Reactivity

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Background and Purpose:

Evidence of compliance, reliability, and reactivity of using pedometers in children remains inconsistent. This study aimed to examine these aspects of unsealed pedometers.


There were 133 children who wore pedometers for 7 days. A subsample of 50 children completed surveys measuring self-efficacy, enjoyment, parental influence, and environment on Day 1 and 8. Investigator presence and incentives were used to increase compliance.


About 87% of children returned pedometers, with 62% wearing pedometers for 4 days or longer. The intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from .70 to .87, with ICC for 4-day pedometer steps exceeding .80. Wearing pedometers did not change pedometer steps nor alter children's perceptions of self-efficacy, enjoyment, parental influence, and environment significantly.


Children were compliant wearing pedometers, and there was no reactivity from wearing them.

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