Do Pedometers Increase Physical Activity in Sedentary Older Women? A Randomized Controlled Trial

Marion E. T. McMurdo, Jacqui Sugden, Ishbel Argo, Paul Boyle, Derek W. Johnston, Falko F. Sniehotta, Peter T. Donnan

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    66 Citations (Scopus)


    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. J Am Geriatr Soc 58:2099-2106, 2010.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2099-2106
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


    • randomized controlled trial
    • pedometer
    • physical activity
    • elderly
    • PEOPLE


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