U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention - Leading the effort to treat and prevent diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives


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Youth Daily Physical Activity Assessment

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NOTE: Access to this information is not restricted; however, the information found here is intended for use by medical providers. Some videos contain graphic images. Patients should talk with their medical providers about any specific concerns.

Why is this important?

  • Typical weekday and weekend activity logs can be used to assess activity levels of children from middle to high school.
  • Use the Youth Pedometer Step Count Activity Log to document the quality and quantity of physical activity over a three-day period. The provider then can make recommendations for further activity based on recent trends for U.S. children as needed.

Action steps:

  • Record step counts for three consecutive school days and two weekend days.
  • Explain how to use a pedometer and the purpose of the assessment both at school and at home.
  • Give these instructions:
    • Wear the pedometer tightly on your waist/beltline and directly over your right leg.
    • Reset your pedometer to ZERO after each day.
    • Record your total step count for three full school days (e.g., 7 a.m. to bedtime).
    • Record your total step count for two full weekend days (e.g., 7 a.m. to bedtime).
    • Include the pedometer step count during any sport event (when the pedometer can be worn with your athletic gear).
  • Compare the quantity and quality of the physical activity from the log to the U.S. Children and Youth Average Pedometer Steps per Day.  down arrow up arrow

U.S. Children and Youth Average Pedometer Steps per Day (for 6 - 11 years)*

Days of the Week Girls Boys
Average per day 12,000 13,000

These step values reflect all activity including spontaneous movements (i.e., fidgeting) as well as foot strikes from walking.

* Tudor-Locke C et.al. Accelerometer-Determined Steps/Day in U.S. Children and Youth. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2010; 42(5):50.

Overview How To Other Resources EHR Documentation

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: (505) 248-4182 | Fax: (505) 248-4188 | diabetesprogram@ihs.gov