Some people try to get their steps in while others set a goal of reaching a certain level of vigorous exercise. It turns out, you don’t need an activity tracker to calculate the difference between moderate and vigorous intensity walking. According to a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity all you really need is a clock that can count in seconds.
As part of ongoing research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, scientists determined that a moderate level of activity for adults between the ages of 21 and 40 is a pace of 100 steps per minute. Vigorous activity starts at about 130 steps per minute. So counting your steps for 15 seconds and multiplying the result by 4 provides a quick, easy assessment of walking intensity.