Introduction and objective:
Low physical activity in patients with claudication is associated with lower walking abilities as assessed by the treadmill test. The impact of physical activity on the ability to walk in a natural environment is unknown. The study aimed to assess the level of daily physical activity among patients with claudication, as well as the relationship between the level of daily physical activity and claudication distance measured during the outdoor walking and treadmill tests.

Material and methods:
The study included 37 patients (24 males), aged 70.03±5.9, with intermittent claudication. Daily step count was assessed using the Garmin Vivofit activity monitor, worn on the non-dominant wrist for 7 consecutive days. Pain-free walking distance (PFWDTT) and maximal walking distance (MWDTT) were measured via the treadmill test. During 60-minute outdoor walking, the maximal walking distance (MWDGPS), total walking distance (TWDGPS), walking speed (WSGPS), number of stops (NSGPS) and stop durations (SDGPS) were assessed.

Mean daily step count – 7,102±3,433. A significant correlation was observed between daily step count and MWDTT, TWDGPS (R=0.33, R=0.37, respectively (p<0.05). Furthermore, 51% of patients reached less than 7,500 steps/day and presented significantly shorter MWDTT, MWDGPS and TWDGPS, compared to the participants covering ≥7,500 steps (p<0.05).

The daily step count reflects claudication distance measured on a treadmill and only partially in a community outdoor setting. The minimal daily step count that should be recommended for patients with claudication, allowing achievement of significantly better results with regard to walking abilities, both on the treadmill and in outdoor settings, is at least 7,500 steps per day.

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