EFFECTS OF A 12-MONTH PEDOMETER WALKING PROGRAM ON GAIT, BODY MASS INDEX, AND LOWER EXTREMITY FUNCTION IN OBESE WOMEN1,2

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Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of a self-reported pedometer-walking program on gait, lower extremity function, and Body Mass Index for 33 obese women, ages 31-65 years (M = 48.0, SD = 8.0) and whose initial average Body Mass Index was 40.30 ± 9.60 kg/m2. During the 12-mo. intervention participants wore pedometers and reported the number of daily steps walked. Body Mass Index, three gait parameters, steps/day, and lower extremity function were taken over 3-mo. intervals. All participants increased in gait velocity, % single-leg support, and lower extremity function, and decreased in Body Mass Index over time. Those whose steps/day increased by 2,000 over 6 mo. had significantly faster velocities and longer step lengths than those whose steps/day did not increase. The 1-yr. walking program stimulated changes in gait, Body Mass Index, and lower extremity function for these obese women. Ultimately, these changes may reduce the risk of falls for this group of women.

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