Quantifying the cadence of free-living walking using event-based analysis

Malcolm Granat (Lead / Corresponding author), Clare Clarke, Richard Holdsworth, Ben Stansfield, Philippa Dall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Free-living walking occurs over a wide range of durations and intensities (cadence). Therefore, its characterisation requires a full description of the distribution of duration and cadence of these walking events. The aim was to use event-based analysis to characterise this in a population with intermittent claudication (IC) and a healthy matched control group. Methods: Seven-day walking activity was recorded using the activPAL activity monitor in a group of people with IC (n=30) and an age-matched control group (n= 30). The cadence, number of steps and duration of individual walking events were calculated and outcomes were derived, and compared (p< 0.05), based on thresholds applied. Results: Both groups had similar number of walking events per day (392 ± 117 vs 415 ±160). The control group accumulated a greater proportion of their walking at higher cadences and 32% of their steps were taken at a cadence above 100. steps/min, for the IC group this was 20%. Longer walking events had higher cadences and the IC group had fewer of these. As walking events became longer the cadence increased but the inter-event cadence variability decreased. More purposeful walking might occur at a higher cadence, and be performed at a preferred cadence. Individuals with IC had a smaller volume of walking, but these differences occurred almost entirely above a cadence of 90. steps/min. Conclusions: This is the first study which has quantified the cadence of continuous periods of free-living walking. The characteristics (duration, number of steps and cadence) of all the individual walking events were used to derive novel outcomes, providing new insights into free-living walking behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalGait & Posture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Accelerometry
  • Intermittent claudication
  • Physical activity
  • Stepping rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics


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