Due to high rates of inactivity and related chronic illnesses among Latinas,1 the current study examined the feasibility and acceptability of using pedometers as an intervention tool in this underserved population.
Data were taken from a larger randomized, controlled trial2 and focused on the subsample of participants (N = 43) who were randomly assigned to receive a physical activity intervention with pedometers and instructions to log pedometer use daily and mail completed logs back to the research center each month for 6 months.
Retention (90.7% at 6 months) and adherence to the pedometer protocol (68.89% returned ≥ 5 of the 6 monthly pedometer logs) were high. Overall, participants reported increased physical activity at 6 months and credited pedometer use for helping them achieve these gains (75.7%). Participants who completed a high proportion (≥ 5/6) of pedometer logs reported significantly greater increases in physical activity and related process variables (stages of change, self-efficacy, behavioral processes of change, social support from friends) than those who were less adherent (completed < 5 pedometer logs).
Pedometers constitute a low-cost, useful tool for encouraging self-monitoring of physical activity behavior in this at-risk group.
Pekmezi is with the Dept of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dunsiger is with the Dept of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, RI and the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI. Gaskins is with the Dept of Community Health, Brown University, Providence, RI and the Dept of Pediatrics, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Alpert-Brown Medical School, Providence, RI. Barbera is with the Dept of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, RI. Marquez is with the Dept of Family and Preventive Medicine, University Of California, San Diego. Neighbors is with the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University, New York, NY. Marcus is with the University of California, San Diego.