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Associations Between Pedometer-Determined Physical Activity and Adiposity in Children and Adolescents

Systematic Review

Miguel-Berges, María L. MSc, BsC*,†; Reilly, John J. MD, PhD; Moreno Aznar, Luis A. MD, PhD*,†,§,¶; Jiménez-Pavón, David PhD*,‖

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: January 2018 - Volume 28 - Issue 1 - p 64–75
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000419
Original Research

Objective: The present review sought to examine the evidence on the associations between pedometer-determined physical activity and adiposity.

Design: Of 304 potentially eligible articles, 36 were included. A search for observational studies was carried out using Cochrane Library (CENTRAL), the OVID (MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO), EBSCOhost (Sportdiscus), and PEDro database from their commenced to July 2015. Of 304 potentially eligible articles, 36 were included.

Results: Most studies (30/36; 83%) were cross sectional and all used proxies for adiposity, such as body mass index (BMI) or BMI z-score as the outcome measure. Few studies (2/36; 6%) focused on preschool children. There was consistent evidence of negative associations between walking and adiposity; significant negative associations were observed in 72% (26/36) of studies overall.

Conclusions: The present review supports the hypothesis that higher levels of walking are protective against child and adolescent obesity. However, prospective longitudinal studies are warranted; there is a need for more research on younger children and for more “dose-response” evidence.

*GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development) Research Group, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain;

Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón (IA2);

Division of Developmental Medicine, Yorkhill Hospitals, University of Glasgow Medical Faculty, Glasgow, Scotland;

§Faculty of Health Science, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain;

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERObn); and

GALENO Research Group, Department of Physical Education, University of Cádiz, Puerto Real (Cádiz) Spain.

Corresponding Author: María L. Miguel-Berges, MSc, BsC, Pedro Cerbuna, 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received September 30, 2016

Accepted November 25, 2016

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