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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

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Walking on prescription : The utility of a pedometer pack for increasing physical activity in primary care

McKay, Jane and Wright, Annemarie and Lowry, Ruth and Steele, Kenny and Ryde, Gemma and Mutrie, Nanette (2009) Walking on prescription : The utility of a pedometer pack for increasing physical activity in primary care. Patient Education and Counseling, 76 (1). pp. 71-76. ISSN 0738-3991

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Abstract

Objective: This study used a multi-method approach to examine the effectiveness of a pedometer-based intervention delivered by health professionals for increasing walking. Methods: Pedometer packs were distributed to 374 patients who undertook a 12-week walking programme. Changes in walking were assessed at three months (using self-reported step-counts [n = 139] and questionnaire data [n = 104]) and at six months (using patient questionnaire data [n = 112]). Qualitative data were collected at both time points to identify underlying mechanisms. Results: After 12 weeks patients had increased their step-counts by 4532 steps/day (p < .001) and at six months were achieving 2977 more steps/day (equivalent to around 30 min/day) than at baseline. Over half the patients reported achieving this target on at least 5 days/week. Qualitative data indicated that the pedometer pack was perceived to be most effective when patients were ready to change and when ongoing support was made available. Conclusion: These findings support the use of pedometer-based interventions in primary care and suggest that the pedometer pack Could lead to sustainable changes in walking. Further investigation, using a randomised controlled trial design, is warranted. Practice implications: Provision of social support and accurate identification of patient readiness to change are important considerations in future implementation of the intervention. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.