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Effect of Electronic Activity Monitors and Pedometers on Health: Results from the TAME Health Pilot Randomized Pragmatic Trial


Background: Brief counseling and self-monitoring with a pedometer are common practice within primary care for physical activity promotion. It is unknown how high-tech electronic activity monitors compare to pedometers within this setting. This study aimed to investigate the outcomes, through effect size estimation, of an electronic activity monitor-based intervention to increase physical activity and decrease cardiovascular disease risk. Method: The pilot randomized controlled trial was pre-registered online at (NCT02554435). Forty overweight, sedentary participants 55-74 years of age were randomized to wear a pedometer or an electronic activity monitor for 12 weeks. Physical activity was measured objectively for 7 days at baseline and follow-up by a SenseWear monitor and cardiovascular disease risk was estimated by the Framingham risk calculator. Results: Effect sizes for behavioral and health outcomes ranged from small to medium. While these effect sizes were favorable to the intervention group for physical activity (PA) (d = 0.78) and general health (d = 0.39), they were not favorable for measures. Conclusion: The results of this pilot trial show promise for this low-intensity intervention strategy, but large-scale trials are needed to test its efficacy.

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