Pedometer-Based Walking Programs Modestly Beneficial
Meta-analysis of nine studies shows a mean weight loss of 1.27 kilograms
TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Sedentary patients who participate in pedometer-based walking programs may lose a modest but clinically significant amount of weight, according to a report published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
Caroline R. Richardson, M.D., of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of nine studies that included a total of 307 participants (73 percent women) who participated in the intervention from four weeks to one year.
The researchers found that the subjects experienced a mean weight loss of 1.27 kilograms and that longer participation in a pedometer-based walking program was associated with greater weight loss. They also calculated that average weekly weight loss associated with the intervention was 0.05 kilograms.
"Such modest amounts of weight loss, no matter how clinically important, may be discouraging to participants whose primary motivation for starting a walking program is to shed pounds," the authors state. "Unrealistic expectations of dramatic weight loss from such a program may result in early dropout. Helping participants set realistic and obtainable goals may be an important part of helping them stick with a walking program. Additionally, encouraging participants who are motivated by weight loss goals to add a dietary component to their walking program may yield more weight loss and thus may increase adherence."