Introduction- The cost of physical inactivity in the workplace setting is significant. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between pedometer-assessed physical activity with cardio-metabolic outcomes such as, body weight, blood glucose levels, lipid profile among the University’s academic faculty and staff.
Methods- Twenty nine (9M/20F, 50±6yrs; BMI 28.4±4.2 kg/m2) apparently healthy participants who were sedentary, non-smoking, non-diabetic, free of cardiovascular disease, not on antihypertensive or cholesterol medications were recruited from the University workforce. Fasting blood glucose and lipid profile were analyzed using Cholestech LDX analyzer, before and after intervention. Pedometer settings were personalized and participants were instructed to maintain their regular diet during the study period. Participants completed a pedometer-based walking intervention (step-goal: 10,000-steps/day, 5-days/week, 4-weeks).
Results- Baseline vs. post-intervention (Mean±SD) for total cholesterol (202.2±40.1 vs. 193.1±42.1 mg/dl; p≤0.05), blood glucose (101.2±8.7 vs. 97.8±8.9; g/dl; p=0.032), systolic blood pressure (BP; 120.7±11.1 vs. 115.1±11.1 mmHg; p=0.003) and diastolic BP (78.6±6.6 vs. 73.8±5.5 mmHg; p<0.0001) were statistically significant. Step-counts significantly increased from baseline to post-intervention (9057.7±3588.9 vs.10319.2±3177; p=0.021). Change in step-count (wk 1 to wk 4) were associated with changes in blood glucose (r=-0.39; p=0.048); diastolic BP (r=-0.43; p=0.029) and BMI (r=-0.45; p=0.022).
Conclusion- Our preliminary study modestly increased workday walking by ~12% over four weeks, and significantly improved the cardio-metabolic outcomes among the University workforce. This suggests that, workplace physical activity programs could contribute to the achievement of 10,000 steps/day, which might maximize physical activity participation.