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Metabolism. 2008 May;57(5):605-11. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2007.12.002.

Regular use of pedometer does not enhance beneficial outcomes in a physical activity intervention study in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Trondheim, and Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7049 Trondheim, Norway.


The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the use of pedometer increases walking and/or enhances beneficial outcomes in a physical intervention study in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Seventy persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomized to a pedometer and a nonpedometer group (P and non-P groups). All participants were seen by a nurse at a baseline visit (V1), after 1 month, after 3 months, and after 6 months and were then encouraged to increase walking. Subjects in the P group additionally registered pedometer steps 3 days twice per month for 6 months. After V1 and the visit at 6 months, aerobic capacity (VO2peak) was measured; and subjects reported perceived physical fitness and activity. Twenty-two subjects did not complete the study (dropouts). The VO2peak at V1 was lower in dropouts than in subjects who completed the study (completers) (P=.003). In the P group, the number of steps per day did not increase from month 1 to month 6 (P=.65). In completers, taken together, there was a decrease in body weight (P=.005), hemoglobin A1c (P=.034), fasting blood glucose (P=.033), triglycerides (P=.002), and diastolic blood pressure (P=.048) and an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P<.001), with no difference between the P group and non-P group for these variables (all P values>.38). Perceived improvement in physical and mental state correlated with improvement in VO2peak (r=0.45, P=.008 and r=0.38, P=.03, respectively; n=34). We conclude that the use of pedometer did not increase walking or enhance beneficial metabolic outcomes. The low aerobic capacity in dropouts indicates that persons most needy of physical exercise are the least compliant in exercise programs.

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