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Do pedometers increase physical activity in sedentary older women? A randomized controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Falko Sniehotta


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OBJECTIVES: To determine the effectiveness of a behavior change intervention (BCI) with or without a pedometer in increasing physical activity in sedentary older women. DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled trial. SETTING: Primary care, City of Dundee, Scotland. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred four sedentary women aged 70 and older. INTERVENTIONS: Six months of BCI, BCI plus pedometer (pedometer plus), or usual care. MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome: change in daily activity counts measured by accelerometry. Secondary outcomes: Short Physical Performance Battery, health-related quality of life, depression and anxiety, falls, and National Health Service resource use. RESULTS: One hundred seventy-nine of 204 (88%) women completed the 6-month trial. Withdrawals were highest from the BCI group (15/68) followed by the pedometer plus group (8/68) and then the control group (2/64). After adjustment for baseline differences, accelerometry counts increased significantly more in the BCI group at 3 months than in the control group (P=.002) and the pedometer plus group (P=.04). By 6 months, accelerometry counts in both intervention groups had fallen to levels that were no longer statistically significantly different from baseline. There were no significant changes in the secondary outcomes. CONCLUSION: The BCI was effective in objectively increasing physical activity in sedentary older women. Provision of a pedometer yielded no additional benefit in physical activity, but may have motivated participants to remain in the trial.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McMurdo ME, Sugden J, Argo I, Boyle P, Johnston DW, Sniehotta FF, Donnan PT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Year: 2010

Volume: 58

Issue: 11

Pages: 2099-2106

Print publication date: 04/11/2010

ISSN (print): 0002-8614

ISSN (electronic): 1532-5415

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03127.x


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