Pedometer programs get sedentary workers moving
Sitting at a desk doing work for hours at a time can wreak havoc on your health. According to PLos Medicine, it is estimated that physical inactivity is responsible for almost 200,000 or 1 in 10 deaths each year.
“Even if somebody works out 30 minutes a day, the fact that they’re sitting and not moving for long periods of time for the rest of the day is in and of itself detrimental to their health and well-being, physiologically,” said Saurabh Thosar, one of the study’s researchers, in a statement.
There is hope, however. One study revealed that a pedometer program proves beneficial in helping motivate participants to get up and get moving.
The study from Indiana University researchers involved using pedometers to monitor how much people move throughout the day was effective at increasing physical activity, lessening sitting time and helping with weight loss.
Results of the study were announced in late May at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Indianapolis.
Participants in the study included four men and 22 women from ages 40 to 66 who completed a 12-week program that required them to wear a pedometer daily and receive twice weekly emails offering nutrition and exercise tips.
During the hours participants did no walking but did more sedentary activities such as watching TV or working at a desk, they were encouraged to be active.
Researchers found a significant decrease in sitting time and a significant increase in physical activity as a result of participating in the program. Participants’ weight, on average, also dropped by almost 2.5 pounds.
“This is a very simple intervention that can reach a large number of people at a low cost,” said Jeanne Johnston, co-author of the study and clinical associate professor in the School of Public Health’s Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, in a statement. “As companies and communities develop programs to increase physical activity and positively impact health parameters such as weight, there is a need to think of the associated costs.”
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