Does a Six-Month Pedometer Intervention Improve Physical Activity and Health Among Vulnerable African Americans? A Feasibility Study

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Nutrition and Food Systems


Background: Race/ethnic-specific physical activity patterns and biological responses to physical activity is one of the most understudied, yet critical aspects related to the development and adoption of physical activity recommendations. Methods: In this 6-month community walking intervention targeting African Americans, participants wore a pedometer and maintained a pedometer diary for the study duration. Outcome measures included height, weight, percent body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, lipids and glucose. ANOVA, Pearson Correlations, and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to examine changes in steps/day over each month of the intervention and explore associations among pedometer-determined physical activity and anthropometric/biological change scores from month 1 to 6. Results: The 83 participants were primarily African American (98%) women (94%). There was a significant increase in the average step/day beginning with 6665 (SD =3,396) during month I and increasing to 9232 (SD = 3670) steps/day during month 6 (F = 4.5, P < .0001). Associations among step counts and anthropometric/biological change scores were not significant. Conclusions: While this intervention resulted in significant increases in steps/day; it exemplifies that physical activity standards may be unachievable for some vulnerable, minority communities. Methodological considerations for exploring associations between changes in pedometer-determined step counts and anthropometric/biological outcomes are emphasized through this study.

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Journal of Physical Activity and Health





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