Tools for Practice Outils pour la pratique

#5 Motivating Patients to Move: A Light at the End of the Couch?

How do I motivate my patients to participate in regular physical activity?

Pedometers, used with specific exercise goals, provide an inexpensive, tangible measure of a patient’s physical activity, and have been demonstrated to increase physical activity levels.

CFPCLearn Logo

Reading Tools for Practice Article can earn you MainPro+ Credits

La lecture d'articles d'outils de pratique peut vous permettre de gagner des crédits MainPro+

Join Now S’inscrire maintenant

Already a CFPCLearn Member? Log in

Déjà abonné à CMFCApprendre? Ouvrir une session

2007 systematic review1 (26 studies, 2767 patients) assessed the use of pedometers to increase physical activity levels and improve health over a mean of 18 weeks: 
  • Pedometers significantly increased physical activity by ~2500 steps/day. 
  • Having a “step goal” (most commonly working up to 10,000 steps/day) predicted increased activity. 
Another meta-analysis from 20092 and newer randomized controlled trials (RCT)3,4 demonstrated similar results, including sustained results for up to one year.4   Context:  
  • Multiple studies show that increased activity is associated with reduced mortality. Two examples are:  
    • A prospective study5 (252,925 patients) found that regular moderate (e.g. brisk walking ≥30 minutes most days) was associated with a 27% relative decrease in mortality compared to no activity. 
    • In a prospective cohort6 (9777 men)the mortality rate of active men was a third of that of inactive men (40 vs. 122 deaths per 10,000 patient-years, respectively). 
  • In patients with chronic disease, the most successful interventions to increase physical activity are those that involve specific behavioural strategies and encourage self-monitoring.7 
    • Use of a pedometer fulfills both. 
  • Other benefits of pedometers include: 
    • Weight reduction of 1.3 kg in 16 weeks.8 
    • Reductions in systolic blood pressure of 3.8 mmHg over 18 weeks.1 
    • Improved blood glucose (BG) levels in patients with impaired glucose tolerance up to 12 months later (i.e. fasting BG reduced by 0.31 mmol/L, two-hour BG reduced by 1.3 mmol/L.4 
Reviewed: July 13, 2016 by ricky

Latest Tools for Practice
Derniers outils pour la pratique

#363 Making a difference in indifference? Medications for apathy in dementia

In patients with dementia, how safe and effective are stimulants, antidepressants, and antipsychotics for treating apathy?
Read Lire 0.25 credits available Crédits disponibles

#362 Facing the Evidence in Acne, Part I: Oral contraceptives and spironolactone in females

How effective are combined oral contraceptives (COC) and spironolactone for treating acne of at least mild-moderate severity in females?
Read Lire 0.25 credits available Crédits disponibles

#361 Preventing RSV Infections in Infants

How safe and effective are monoclonal antibodies to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in infants?
Read Lire 0.25 credits available Crédits disponibles

This content is certified for MainPro+ Credits, log in to access

Ce contenu est certifié pour les crédits MainPro+, Ouvrir une session

  • Christina Korownyk MD CCFP
  • G. Michael Allan MD CCFP

1. Bravata DM, Smith Spangler C, Sundaram V, et al. JAMA. 2007; 298:2296-304.

2. Kang M, Marshall SJ, Barreira TV, et al. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2009; 80:648-55.

3. Baker G, Gray SR, Wright A, et al. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2008; 5:44.

4. Yates T, Davies M, Corely T, et al. Diabetes Care. 2009; 32:1404-10.

5. Leitzmann MF, Park Y, Blair A, et al. Arch Intern Med. 2007; 167:2453-60.

6. Blair SN, Kohl HW, Barlow CE, et al. JAMA. 1995; 273:1093-8.

7. Conn VS, Hafdahl AR, Brown SA, et al. Patient Educ Couns. 2008; 70:157-72.

8. Richardson CR, Newton TL, Abraham JL, et al. Ann Fam Med. 2008; 6:69-77.

9. Swinburn BA, Walter LG, Arroll B, et al. Am J Public Health. 1998; 88:288-91.

Authors do not have any conflicts of interest to declare.

Les auteurs n’ont aucun conflit d’intérêts à déclarer.