Pedometers Motivated Patients To Increase Physical Activity And Weight Loss Interview with
Christopher C. Imes, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, Acute and Tertiary Care
University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Imes: Increased physical activity (PA) with reduced energy intake is the key strategy to achieve weight loss. However, in research, there are challenges to obtaining accurate PA data. Many studies rely on self-report, which is easily accessible and inexpensive but is known to have numerous limitations. Pedometers are a relatively inexpensive and accessible method to objectively measure certain aspects of physical activity. The purpose of this analysis was to examine the associations between self-reported physical activity, pedometer step count data and weight loss during the first 6-months of the Self-Efficacy Lifestyle Focus (SELF) trial. All participants in this trial were instructed to reduce their calorie and fat intake, were encouraged to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderately intense PA/week or 7500 steps/day, and to self-monitor their diet and physical activity.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?

Dr. Imes: Change in self-reported physical activity from baseline to 6 months was not associated with weight change. However, average daily step count, derived from pedometers given to participants during the same time period, was associated with weight loss. More daily steps results in more weight loss. The participants who averaged over 7500 steps/day lost about 9.5% of their initial body weight; whereas, the participants who averaged less than 5000 steps/day only lost about 5.0%.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Imes: When it comes to weight loss, the combination of calorie and fat restriction with increased physical activity results in the most weight loss. Using pedometers, with their real time display of steps accrued, or other wearable devices, may help motivate patients to be more active and may help them meet their weight loss goals.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Imes: Additional studies examining the best ways to motivate individuals to reduce their calories and fat intake while increasing their physical activity are needed. Additionally, more research is needed on how to maintain these behaviors over time.


Mean daily pedometer step count is associated with weight loss

Christopher C. Imes, PhD, RN; Lei Ye, BMed; Yaguang Zheng, PhDc; Juliet Mancino, MS, RDN, CDE; Cynthia A. Danford, PhD, CRNP; Meghan Mattos, MSN, RN; Edvin Music, MSIS, MBA; Dara D. Mendez, PhD, MPH; Lu Hu, MSN; Lin J. Ewing, PhD; Susan M. Sereika, PhD; Lora E. Burke, PhD, MPH, FAHA, FAAN

Presented at the 2014 AHA Epi and Lifestyle Conference. Interview with Christopher C. Imes, PhD, RN (2015). Pedometers Motivated Patients To Increase Physical Activity And Weight Loss

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Last Updated on March 6, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD