Steps Per Day Increases with Step Count Prescription Strategy

A net increase of 20% in steps/day was seen with a physician-delivered step count prescription strategy.
A net increase of 20% in steps/day was seen with a physician-delivered step count prescription strategy.

HealthDay News -- According to a study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, a physician-delivered step count prescription strategy with an individualized rate of increase can result in an increase in step count per day.

Kaberi Dasgupta, MD, from the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, and colleagues examined the effects of physician-delivered step count prescriptions and monitoring. 

Participants were randomized to a control arm or an active arm, in which they were provided with pedometers and recorded step counts. Physicians reviewed their records over a one-year period and provided a written step count prescription with a goal of a 3000-step/day increase -- individualized rate of increase. 

Participants in the control arm were advised to engage in 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Seventy-nine percent of the 347 participants completed the final evaluation.

The researchers found that there was a net increase of 20% in steps/day for active versus control participants (1190 steps). Inconclusive changes were seen in carotid femoral pulse wave velocity.

Among participants with type 2 diabetes, active versus control participants experienced a lowering of hemoglobin A1c (−0.38%). The active versus control arm also showed a decrease in homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (−0.96 in all participants not treated with insulin).

"A simple physician-delivered step count prescription strategy incorporated into routine clinical practice led to a net 20% increase in step counts, though below the 3000 steps/day targeted increment," the authors write.

Reference

Dasgupta K, et al. "Physician Step Prescription And Monitoring To Improve Arterial Health (SMARTER): A Randomized Controlled Trial In Type 2 Diabetes And Hypertension". Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. 2017. doi: 10.1111/dom.12874. [Epub ahead of print]

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