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Do pedometers motivate physical activity and improve health?

Last year this blog suggested that a pedometer would make a healthy Christmas present. This year, you were advised of the AARP offer of a free pedometer.

But, did you get one?

Here’s why you should have.

First, the details.

  • To evaluate the association between pedometers and physical activity and health outcomes, researchers reviewed studies where at least 5 adults used a pedometer and reported a change in steps per day.
  • They found 26 studies of 2767 participants who were studied for an average of 18 weeks.

And, the results.

  • Pedometer users significantly increased their physical activity by 2183 steps per day — +27% compared to the start of the studies.
  • A predictor of increased physical activity was having a step goal such as 10,000 steps per day.
  • Pedometer users significantly decreased their body mass index by 0.38.
  • They also significantly decreased their systolic blood pressure by 3.8 mm Hg.
  • The change in blood pressure was greater in those with higher systolic blood pressure and a change in steps per day.

Ms. Wendy Bumgardner, a certified marathon coach, has written all you’ll ever want to know about pedometers at About.com.

11/22/07 18:55 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.