Background: The purpose of this study was to determine if a short-term pedometer-based intervention results in immediate increases in time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) compared to a minimal educational intervention.
Methods: A sample of 43 overweight adults 35 to 64 years of age participated in a one week pedometer-based feasibility trial monitored by accelerometry. Participants were randomized into a one-week education-only group or a group that also wore a pedometer. Accelerometer-measured MVPA was measured over 7 days at baseline and again for 7 days immediately post-intervention.
Results: Minutes of MVPA increased significantly in the overall sample (p = 0.02); however, the effect of adding the pedometer to the education program was not significant (p = 0.89). Mean (±SE) MVPA increased from 12.7 ± 2.4 min/day to 16.2 ± 3.6 min/day in the education-only group and from 13.2 ± 3.3 min/day to 16.3 ± 3.9 min/day in the education+pedometer group. The correlation between change in steps/day and change in MVPA was 0.69 (p<0.0001).
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the addition of a pedometer to a short-term education program does not produce added benefits with respect to increasing physical activity in the Lower Mississippi Delta.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01264757.