Acta Gymnica, 2017 (vol. 47), issue 3

Acta Gymnica 2017, 47(3):138-143 | 10.5507/ag.2017.017

Mental health and quality of life benefits of a pedometer-based walking intervention delivered in a primary care setting

Tomas Vetrovsky1, Jozef Cupka2, Martin Dudek3, Blanka Kuthanova4, Klaudia Vetrovska5, Vaclav Capek6, Vaclav Bunc1
1 Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic;
2 Mediciman s.r.o., Prague, Czech Republic;
3 Laureus s.r.o., Dobrichovice, Czech Republic;
4 Praktici Praha 6, s.r.o., Prague, Czech Republic;
5 Humilitas s.r.o., Beroun, Czech Republic;
6 Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Background: Physical activity level is positively associated with mental health and health-related quality of life. Primary care providers are ideally situated to offer physical activity interventions, and pedometers are commonly used as motivational tools to increase walking. However, several recent trials of pedometer-based interventions in primary care settings neither improved patients' quality of life nor reduced anxiety or depression, but these interventions only had relatively modest effects on physical activity levels.

Objective: Our aim was to assess whether a pedometer-based walking intervention delivered in a primary care setting affects anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life.

Methods: A quasi-experimental, pre-post, single group study was conducted in 23 physically inactive patients from four general practices who participated in a pedometer-based intervention. The patients were administered the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaires before and after the 3-month intervention.

Results: Following the intervention, the patients increased their walking volume by 1,676 steps per day (p < .001). Both the anxiety (-1.4, p = .011) and depression (-2.4, p = .001) subscales of HADS decreased, while the physical functioning (+6, p = .023), social functioning (+9, p = .035), mental health (+12, p = .001), vitality (+12, p = .003), and general health (+7, p = .013) subscales of SF-36 increased.

Conclusions: Providing physically inactive patients with a pedometer and encouraging them to walk more in a primary care setting was associated with lower anxiety and depression scores, and improved health-related quality of life.

Keywords: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, pedometer, physical activity, primary care, quality of life, walking

Received: July 28, 2017; Accepted: October 1, 2017; Prepublished online: October 5, 2017; Published: October 6, 2017

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