A comparison of fitness training to a pedometer-based walking program matched for total energy cost

J Phys Act Health. 2010 Mar;7(2):203-13. doi: 10.1123/jpah.7.2.203.


Background: Fitness and health variables were measured in 128 sedentary men and women randomly assigned to 6 months of fitness training (F), a walking program (W), or a control (C) group.

Methods: The F program gradually increased volume and intensity until 4 d/wk of training, at 70% of peak VO2 for 43 min/session was prescribed while the W group performed daily walking monitored with pedometers and increased until 10,000 steps x d-1 were prescribed. Total weekly energy expenditure was matched between the activity groups. The control group was asked to maintain their usual activity.

Results: Body mass, waist circumference, waist/hip ratio, resting HR were reduced in all groups after 6 months (P < .05). Fasting glucose, glucose tolerance, and total cholesterol were similarly improved in all groups (P < .05). Blood pressure and HR decreased during submaximal exercise in all groups (P < .05) but rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was decreased only in the F group (P < .05). Only the F participants showed a significant increase in ventilatory threshold (VT; ~15%) and peak VO2 (~9%) after 6 months.

Conclusions: Supervised fitness training in previously sedentary adults produced greater improvements in submaximal RPE, BP(sys), VT, and peak VO2 but not other fitness and health-related variables compared with a pedometer-based walking program matched for total energy cost.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Ergometry / instrumentation
  • Ergometry / methods*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Program Development*
  • Walking / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids