Impact of a 12-week, pharmacist-directed walking program in an established employee preventive care clinic

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Abstract

Purpose

The impact on physical activity and health of a 12-week, pharmacist-directed walking program incorporated into an employee health and wellness clinic was evaluated.

Methods

Clinic participants were eligible for study inclusion if they or their spouse was a current or retired employee of Ohio Northern University. Participants received a pedometer, a calendar with specific daily walking goals for the 12-week period, and maps with walking routes. Participants also met with a pharmacist and a student pharmacist for point-of-care tests measuring lipid and fasting glucose concentrations and blood pressure. Participants reported to weekly pedometer checks where steps were recorded and medications were reassessed by the pharmacist or student pharmacist. As an incentive to meet the walking goals, the participants received a raffle ticket each week their goal had been achieved. After 12 weeks, participants reported for a final appointment when all baseline variables were reassessed by a team of health care professionals.

Results

A total of 144 participants were screened at baseline and included in the study, 65 of whom completed the program. At baseline, there were 240 abnormal laboratory test values found in participants with no prior history of dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, or hypertension. After 12 weeks, significant changes in high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations (p = 0.0012), fasting blood glucose concentrations (p = 0.0017), and blood pressure (p = 0.021) were noted.

Conclusion

A pharmacist-directed walking program that included clinical assessments, walking goals, and weekly pedometer checks was an effective approach to increase employee activity levels, identify previously unknown health conditions, lower blood glucose concentrations and blood pressure values, and increase HDL cholesterol concentrations.

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