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Title: Steps that count! : The development of a pedometer-based health promotion intervention in an employed, health insured South African population
Authors: Pillay, Julian David 
Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy 
Mechelen, Willem 
Lambert, Estelle V. 
Issue Date: 17-Oct-2012
Publisher: BioMed Central
Physical activity (PA) has been identified as a central component in the promotion of health.
PA programs can provide a low cost intervention opportunity, encouraging PA behavioral
change while worksites have been shown to be an appropriate setting for implementing such
health promotion programs. Along with these trends, there has been an emergence of the use
of pedometers as a self-monitoring and motivational aid for PA.
This study determines the effectiveness of a worksite health promotion program comprising
of a 10-week, pedometer-based intervention (“Steps that Count!”), and individualized emailbased
feedback to effect PA behavioral change.Methods
The study is a randomized controlled trial in a worksite setting, using pedometers and
individualized email-based feedback to increase steps per day (steps/d). Participant selection
will be based on attendance at a corporate wellness event and information obtained, following
the completion of a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA), in keeping with inclusion criteria for the
study. All participants will, at week 1 (pre-intervention), be provided with a blinded
pedometer to assess baseline levels of PA. Participants will be provided with feedback on
pedometer data and identify strategies to improve daily PA towards current PA
recommendations. Participants will thereafter be randomly assigned to the intervention group
(INT) or control group (CTL). The INT will subsequently wear an un-blinded pedometer for
10 consecutive weeks.
Individualized feedback messages based on average steps per day, derived from pedometer
data (INT) and general supportive/motivational messages (INT+CTL), will be provided via
bi-weekly e-mails; blinded pedometer-wear will be conducted at week 12 (post-intervention:
The purpose of this paper is to outline the rationale behind, and the development of, an
intervention aimed at improving ambulatory PA through pedometer use, combined with
regular, individualized, email-based feedback. Pedometer-measured PA and individualized
feedback may be a practical and easily applied intervention.
Originally published in: BMC Public Health 2012, 12:880.
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-880
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Health Sciences)

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