Peak stepping cadence is associated with leg vascular compliance in young adults

Joaquin U. Gonzales, Parijat Kumar, Jordan Shephard, Andey Means

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: To test the hypothesis that volume or intensity of daily ambulatory activity would associate with greater large artery compliance in healthy untrained adults. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Forty-five recreationally active young adults (22 ± 3 yr, 51% women) wore an accelerometer for 5.3 ± 1.3 days for determination of average daily steps (volume) and 30-min peak stepping cadence (intensity; average steps per min for the 30 highest min in a day). Arterial compliance of the common carotid artery, superficial femoral artery (SFA), and popliteal artery was estimated using Doppler ultrasound. Data were analyzed using correlational analysis and analysis of covariance. Results: Average daily steps and peak stepping cadence was 8957±3422 steps per day and 97±24 steps per min, respectively. Weight was the main independent predictor of daily steps (r2=0.13, p=0.01) and peak stepping cadence (r2=0.17, p<0.01). After adjusting ambulatory activity for weight, SFA compliance was positively correlated with peak stepping cadence (r=0.53, p<0.01) but not with daily steps (r=0.23, p>0.05). No other correlations were found between ambulatory activity and carotid or popliteal artery compliance (p>0.05). Adults with peak stepping cadence≥102 steps per min had greater carotid (1.26±0.08 vs. 1.57±0.09mm2kPa-1; p=0.01) and SFA compliance (0.43±0.03 vs. 0.54±0.03mm2kPa-1; p=0.04) than adults with lower stepping cadence. Conclusions: "Brisk" stepping cadence during daily ambulation is associated with greater leg vascular compliance. These results support the promotion of accumulating 30. min of "brisk" walking per day as a strategy to improve vascular health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-687
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Accelerometer
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Carotid artery
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Femoral artery
  • Walking


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