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Table 4 Studies that used pedometers as an intervention for musculoskeletal diseases

From: A systematic review of studies using pedometers as an intervention for musculoskeletal diseases

Study Objectives Sample and Design Pedometer intervention Mean steps per day Result
     and (pedometers used)  
RCT To compare the effectiveness of two walking programs in combination with GS on OA symptom and PA in patient with hip or knee OA -36 participants (age = 42-73), randomized into two intervention groups From 0 to 6 weeks both groups received GS. between week 6 and 18 (3920 – 6683) steps in both groups No differences between groups in step/day/(P = .07). Significant improvements in pain (P = .001) and physical function (P = .001) for both groups
Group A: From 7 to12 weeks received GS + pedometer and walking up to 3000 steps/day
- Group A n = 19 (walking 3 days /week)
Ng et al.[50]
From 13–18 weeks received GS + pedometer and walking up to 6000 steps/day Group B: same group A but walking 5 day/week Pedometer: not mentioned
-Group B n = 17 (walking 5 days/week )
program lasted 12 weeks
RCT To determine whether a pedometer program with arthritis self-management would increase PA and muscle strength in subject with OA of knee. -34 participants with knee OA (age = 60 and older) Both groups received 12 hours arthritis self-management education (UDE) over 12 weeks Education group ( 4652–3972) Significant differences between groups in PA (P = .04), and muscle strength (P = .04) with no significant in pain (P = .95)
- randomized into two groups. Pedometer group (3519–4337)
Talbot et al.[51] Pedometer group received instruction to increase their step count by 10% every 4 weeks from their baseline step count with feedback and exercise materials.
pedometer group n = 17
Pedometer: New Lifesty- les Digi-walker SW-200, Yamax, Japan
education group n = 17
program lasted 12 weeks
RCT To compare pedometer program vs. an education program on health status and PA levels in adult with Fibromyalgia syndrome (FS). -48 adults age (48–52 years), randomized into Pedometer group; received 90 min cognitive behavioral program × 2 per weeks for 12 weeks. from week 1 participants were asked to increase 10- min walking every week to reach 30 min by week 5 control group: received 90 min cognitive behavioral program once a month for 12 weeks pedometer group (2337–3970), no steps for control group Significant increase in PA for intervention (P = .001). No significant differences between groups in pain (P = .060), fatigue (P = .85) and six-min walk (P = .92) at 6 weeks
Pedometer: Accusplit® Eagle Activity Pedometer
-pedometer n = 22
-Control group n = 26
Fontaine, & Haaz[49] program lasted 6 weeks
RCT To determine the variable most closely related to symptomatic -40 women mean age (63.5), randomized into intervention group n = 22 control group n = 18 The program lasted 6 weeks Both groups received drugs (NSAID) for 4 weeks before study. intervention (N/R -7500 steps) control (N/R-7300 steps) No significant differences between groups in steps (P = 0.86) at 6 weeks. Correlation significant between steps and relief pain (P = .003)
Intervention group: received 0.5 mg Mazindol once per day plus the NSAID twice a day, and instructed to wear a pedometer to walk 30 min each day for 6 weeks
relief of OA of knee in response to a weight
Toda et al.[52] control and walking program. Control group: received same the intervention group but without any instruction or feedback on pedometer. Pedometer: Seiko, Tokyo, Japan
RCT To examine the feasibility of 8 weeks pedometer with education materials on CLBP patients 57 participants (age 42-60), randomized into two groups Both groups received a single 1 hour education session. Intervention group: (5563–8339) Participants in intervention increased their step count from baseline by 2776 (95% CI, 1996–3557) and improvements in pain score(ODQ) by 8.2% (CI, -13-3.4) at 6 weeks
Pedometer group n = 40 Control group: not reported
Pedometer group: in week 1, 10 min self-efficacy walk completed. Week 2, meeting to provide step target, between week 3 and 8 weekly phoned to discuss the progress. This program was based on 5A,s framework including 1. ask/assesses barriers to PA, 2. advise to increase PA, 3. change walking goals, 4. address barriers with feedback, 5. regular feedback.
Control group n = 17
Pedometer: Yamax, Digi walker CW-701, Japan
program lasted 8 weeks
McDonough et al.[53]
RCT To determine whether a pedometer-based internet can reduce CLBP 229 participants (age 51.9 ± 12.8), randomized into two groups Intervention received pedometer and access to a website which provided feedback, goal setting, motivational messages and social support Intervention(4492–5370) Control (4322–4682) No significant differences between groups in steps at 6 and 12 months respectively (P = .12, and P = .08). Significant difference between groups in RDQ scores (P = .02) at 6 month, and non-significant at 12 months (P = .07)
Intervention n = 111
Krein et al.[54] Control n = 118 Control group received pedometer without access to intervention website Pedometer: Omron HJ-720ITC
RCT To examine whether a walking exercise can improves the dual-task performance in older adults with knee OA 40 participants , randomized into two groups Both groups attended one session of physical therapy once a week, and also received ice therapy, exercises for range of motion and muscle strength at home every day. Walking group (4453–7285) Significant increase in PA for intervention (P = .001). Participants in intervention group significantly improved their functional disability and pain (P < 0.001, and P < 0.001 respectively)
Control group(4425–4207)
Walking group n = 20 (age 71.9 ± 5.2)
Hiyama et al.[55]
Pedometer:KenzLifecoder EX, Suzuken Co, Ltd, Japan
In addition, walking group received pedometer with instruction to increase their steps to 3000 steps more than their baseline
Control group n = 20 (age 73.8 ± 5.7)
   program lasted 4 weeks    
  1. PA: physical activity, OA: osteoarthritis, GS: glucosamine sulphate, NSAID: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ODQ: Oswestry Disability Questionnaire, CLBP: chronic low back pain, RDQ: Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire.