Electronic step counters are devices that may be useful to measure the amount of movement resulting from ambulation in free-living populations, but have been evaluated mostly in adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of the Yamax SW-200 step counter (Tokyo, Japan) to record the number of steps taken by African American children. Fifteen children (7-11 y) walked for two minutes on a motorized treadmill (no grade) at three different walking speeds (mean = 3.5, 4.2, 5.4 km/h). Each trial was repeated three times. One step counter was clipped to the belt-line of beltless slacks, whereas another step counter was placed inside a soft-cased pouch that was attached to a belt. A manual step counter was used to simultaneously count the steps by an observer. VO2 and heart rate (HR) were also recorded. A factorial ANOVA demonstrated no differences (p>0.05) in the number of steps recorded between trials at each of the three speeds for the two types of attachment at the waist. No differences (p>0.05) were observed between the steps recorded manually and at the two types of attachment at the waist. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed an increase (p<0.05) in the number of steps, VO2 and HR with increasing walking speed. Thus, in children: 1) the Yamax step counter could detect increases in number of steps taken when there were small increases in walking speed, and 2) the use of a soft-cased pouch appears to be an appropriate alternate placement site for the step counter device.
B-35 SLIDE PHYS ACT ASSESS IN CHILDREN