Effectiveness of Pedometer‑Based Walking Program to Improve Physical Activity of Workers in a Software Industry: An Experimental Study

Varna Mathew, Sujiv Akkilagunta, Dinesh Kumar, Subitha Lakshminarayanan, Sitanshu Sekhar Kar

Abstract


Background: Workplace acts as an effcient target for health promotion activities. Pedometer can act as a motivator and monitor of physical activity. Aims: The aim of the study was to assess the effect of pedometer usage in increasing physical activity and the level of adherence among employees of a software company in Puducherry.

Methods: An interventional study was conducted with a prepost design. A single group of software company employees (n = 46), age ≥30 years selected by simple random sampling, was included in the study. Intervention consisted of health education program on physical activity, goal setting, and instructions regarding the use of pedometers for 1 week. Physical activity levels were measured at baseline and endline using global physical activity questionnaire.

Results: Out of the 46 participants, 93% of the participants used the pedometer for at least 6 days. The difference between maximum observed step count during the week (median 9834 steps) and at baseline (6963 steps) was signifcant. Overall, 93.5% found pedometers to be useful for improving physical activity. Proportion of
individuals with adequate physical activity based on  Metabolic equivalents (MET) minutes increased from 41.3% (n = 19) at baseline to 69.6% at endline (n = 32) (P = 0.004).

Conclusions: This study shows that a pedometer‑driven walking intervention in the workplace setting is feasible and effective in increasing physical activity over a short term. Further research is required to test the effect of supportive strategies and long‑term effectiveness of pedometer use.

Keywords: Exercise, ftness tracker, health promotion, walking, workplace


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