Self-Selected Walking Cadence after 16-Week Light-Intensity Physical Activity Intervention for Older Cancer Survivors

Elizabeth M. Harding, Ann L. Gibson, Huining Kang, Micah N. Zuhl, Harsh Sharma, Cindy K. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this secondary analysis of a light-intensity physical activity intervention, we hypoth-esized that older cancer survivors would self-select a faster walking cadence to meet their daily step goals. Average steps/day and free-living walking cadence were measured in 41 participants (age 69 ± 3.1 years) with an ActivPAL monitor worn 7 days pre-and post-intervention. Besides peak and average walking cadence, stepping patterns associated with ambulatory intensity were sorted in cadence bands of 20 steps/min from 40–59 (incidental movement) to ≥120 steps/min (fast locomotor movement). Compared to the waitlist Control group (n = 17), the Intervention group (n = 24) increased their peak 30-min cadence (4.3 vs. 1.9 steps/minute; p = 0.03), average 10-min cadence (4.1 vs. −6.6 steps/minute; p = 0.04), and average 30-min cadence (5.7 vs. −0.8 steps/minute, p = 0.03). Steps taken in cadence bands denoting moderate-intensity physical activity (100–119 steps/min) increased by 478 (interquartile range (IQR): −121 to 1844) compared to decreasing by 92 (IQR: −510 to 181) steps/day for the intervention and Control groups, respectively (p < 0.01). Evaluation of free-living walking cadence and patterns of ambulatory behavior can inform future interventions targeting behavior change, especially in those populations most at risk for reduced physical activity and vulnerable to mobility deficits and loss of independence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4768
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • ActivPAL
  • average cadence
  • cadence bands
  • cancer survivors
  • peak cadence
  • wearable technology


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