A pilot study of an Internet walking program and pedometer in COPD

Respir Med. 2012 Sep;106(9):1342-50. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2012.06.013. Epub 2012 Jul 12.


Background: Higher levels of physical activity are associated with better functional status, fewer hospital admissions, and lower mortality. In this pilot study, we examined the feasibility and safety of a novel program that combines a pedometer with a website to increase walking.

Methods: 27 persons with stable COPD wore the Omron HJ-720ITC pedometer and used the website for 90 days. They uploaded step-count data to the study server using their home computer and received an email each week with their individualized step-count goal. The website provided step-count feedback, education, and motivational content. Subjects participated in a monthly semi-structured interview by telephone. Subjects reported changes in medical condition by telephone or on the website. Paired T-tests assessed change in daily step counts.

Results: Subjects were males, mean age 72 ± 8 years, with moderate COPD, FEV(1) 1.57 ± 0.48 L (55 ± 16% predicted). 87% and 65% reported no problems using the pedometer and website, respectively. At month 3, 96% reported it was true that they knew their step count goal every day, and 52% reported that they were able to reach their goal. 95% of participants said they would recommend the walking program to another person with COPD. Eight subjects experienced breathing problems unrelated to the intervention. In 24 subjects with step counts at baseline and month 3, there was a significant increase of 1263 steps per day (approximately 1.0 km), p = 0.0054.

Conclusions: The use of a website and pedometer was feasible and safe, and persons increased their daily walking.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01564043.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01564043