Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the validity of step counts measured with the Omron HJ-112 pedometer and to assess the effect of pedometer placement.
Methods: Ninety-two subjects (44 males and 48 females; 71 with body mass index [BMI] <30 kg·m−2 and 21 with BMI ≥30 kg·m−2) completed three, 12-min bouts of treadmill walking at speeds of 1.12, 1.34, and 1.56 m·s−1. A subset (21 males and 23 females; 38 BMI <30 kg·m−2 and 6 BMI ≥30 kg·m−2) completed a variable walking condition. For all conditions, participants wore an Omron HJ-112 pedometer on the hip, in the pants pocket, in the chest shirt pocket, and around the neck. Hip pedometer placement was alternated between right and left sides with the Yamax Digiwalker SW-701. During each walk, an investigator recorded actual steps with a manual hand counter.
Results: There was no substantial bias with the Omron in any speed condition (−0.1% to 0.5%). Bias was larger with the Yamax (−3.6% to 2.0%). The largest random error for the Omron was 3.7% in the variable-speed condition for the BMI <30 kg·m−2 group, whereas random errors for the Yamax were larger and up to 20%. None of the Omron placement positions produced statistically significant bias. Hip mounting produced the smallest random error (1.2%), followed by shirt pocket (1.7%), neck (2.2%), and pants pocket (5.8%).
Conclusion: The Omron HJ-112 pedometer validly assesses steps in different BMI groups during constant- and variable-speed walking; other than that in the pants pocket, placement of the pedometer has little effect on validity.