According to a University of Michigan Health System analysis of nine studies,
people participating for a longer time in a pedometre-based walking program may
lose a good amount of weight, without even having to change their diet.
This analytical study led by
Caroline R Richardson, MD, assistant professor in the U-M Health System
Department of Family Medicine, involved 307 participants in total of nine
studies. Of these 73 per cent were women and 27 per cent were men. The lengths
of the studies ranged from four weeks to one year, with a median of 16
In the studies, the
participants increased the distance they walked by one mile to slightly more
than two miles each day. This implies that at an average pace of three miles per
hour, the walkers were getting an additional 20 to 40 minutes of activity a day.
On average, they lost 0.05 kilograms per week (about 0.11 pounds) for an average
total of 1.27 kilograms (2.8 pounds) during the course of the
It was found that all
except one of the studies led to a small decrease in
"The amount of weight
loss attributable to pedometer-based walking programs is small but significant,"
that the analysis also showed that participants had a tendency to lose more
weight in the longer studies.
According to Richardson,
though pedometer-based walking programs are thought of as convenient and
flexible for participants, there has been some question in the fitness and
medical communities about the health benefits of such programs.
However, she was sure that
this analysis should suppress some of these
"The increase in
physical activity can be expected to result in health benefits that are
independent of weight loss. Increasing physical activity reduces the risk of
cardiovascular problems, lowers blood pressure and helps dieters maintain lean
muscle tissue when they are dieting," said Richardson.
According to her, the other
benefit can be that exercise in general has been shown to improve glucose
tolerance in people with impaired glucose tolerance or type 2
suggested that participants in pedometer-based walking programs can expect to
lose about five pounds in almost a year.
This would imply a 2 percent
to 3 percent reduction in body weight for an overweight person. However,
Richardson indicated that the program can still be beneficial. She said that a
quicker way to see results, and possibly to encourage people to adhere to the
program longer, would be to add a dietary program to the walking
The study also found that
the average daily step-count increases varied from just under 2,000 steps per
day to more than 4,000 steps per day across these studies. For the average
person, a 2,000-step walk is approximately equal to a one-mile
It was revealed that the
range of weight change for the nine studies was a gain of 0.3 kilograms (0.66
pounds) to a loss of 3.70 kilograms (eight pounds), with an average weight loss
of 1.27 kilograms (2.8 pounds).