Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pedometers motivate people with diabetes to walk more

21.11.2007
Program that counts every step, not just steps taken during long walks, is more satisfying

The use of a pedometer and a Web site that tracked physical activity levels proved to be powerful motivators for people with diabetes who participated in a recent walking study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan Health System and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The study also suggests that certain types of goal-setting may be more effective than others.

All participants in the study wore pedometers and received automated weekly goals that were based on their previous week’s walking activity. For half of the participants these goals were “lifestyle goals,” meaning that any step taken during the day counted. The other half received “structured goals,” in which only steps taken during long walks that lasted at least 10 minutes counted. These participants had a smaller target number of steps to take in a day than the lifestyle group.

Study participants in both groups increased their walking significantly during the program and there was no difference between the groups in terms of increased walking. However, the type of goals that participants were given in the six-week study strongly influenced their satisfaction with the program. Those who received lifestyle goals were more satisfied with the walking program, and wore the pedometer more days during the study period and for more hours during each day than those who received structured goals.

The finding sheds light on a debate among exercise experts about the ways in which people should increase their levels of activity. Some have contended that the only effective walking programs are those in which long periods of activity (known as “bout steps” in this study) are counted. Others have said that counting every step is a better motivator and is just as effective as bout-step programs.

“Walkers in the group where every step counted experienced the same benefit as those who just had their bout steps recorded,” says lead author Caroline R. Richardson, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the U-M Medical School and research scientist at the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The study appears in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

“The fact that they were also more satisfied with their program suggests that this approach may be more successful for many people than a program that only recognizes long periods of activity,” Richardson adds.

Study participants were 35 individuals with type 2 diabetes who were both sedentary and overweight, and who were interested in starting a walking program. All participants were given a pedometer that tracked walking and had a built in USB port so that the walking data could be automatically uploaded to the study Web site. Each participant could view his or her step count records and new goals, along with tailored motivational messages and tips about walking, on a personalized study home page.

The focus was on people with type 2 diabetes because exercise is thought to be essential to prevent a worsening of the condition and the development of complications such as nerve damage. That’s why a program that inspires adherence is so important, Richardson notes.

Among the 30 participants who completed the study, steps taken during longer walks lasting 10 minutes or more increased by about 1,900 to 2,700 steps a day, and the increases were roughly the same in both the lifestyle and structured groups. Even though the lifestyle-goals group had every step counted, they, like their counterparts in the other group, chose to increase their walking by taking longer walks rather than by accumulating more steps during many short walks.

In other words, a lifestyle group participant would have her steps counted whether she went for a half-hour walk or just walked outside to get the mail, while the structured group would only have the half-hour walk counted. But in both groups, the increase in the daily totals came from activities like half-hour walks, not by taking more short trips to the mailbox, to and from the car, or visiting a co-worker down the hall.

That means that the increases in both groups stemmed from longer walks – the type of walking that is most beneficial to one’s health. Yet the group that had every step counted was more inclined to enjoy the overall program and was more likely to stick with it.

Richardson’s team also is conducting further studies about the effectiveness of pedometers as tools for motivating people to increase their levels of physical activity. Richardson is a national leader in this area of research.

Katie Vloet | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>