Do pedometers increase activity and improve health outcomes?
Q: Do pedometers increase activity and improve health outcomes? Evidence-based answer: yes. In overweight and obese patients, exercise interventions using a pedometer increase steps by about a mile per day over the same interventions without access to pedometer information (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [RCTs]) and are associated with a modest 4 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure (BP) over baseline (SOR: B, meta-analysis of RCTs and cohort studies). In overweight patients with diabetes, pedometer use with nutritional counseling is associated with 0.86 kg greater weight loss than nutritional counseling alone (SOR: B, meta-analysis of lower quality RCTs). Pedometers increase activity in patients with various musculoskeletal conditions and may help reduce pain (SOR: B, meta-analysis of RCTs with heterogeneous outcomes). In low-activity elderly patients, pedometers do not appear to increase total activity when added to an exercise program, but they do appear to increase walking (SOR: B, RCT). There is no evidence concerning the impact of pedometers on cardiovascular outcomes.
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