A randomized trial to increase physical activity among native elders

Craig N. Sawchuk, Steve Charles, Yang Wen, Jack Goldberg, Ralph Forquera, Peter Roy-Byrne, Dedra Buchwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: Physical inactivity is common among older populations and American Indians. Our objective was to compare two methods for increasing physical activity and walking among American Indian elders. Methods: We conducted a two arm randomized trial to increase physical activity in 125 American Indians aged 50-74 years at the Seattle Indian Health Board in 2005. Participants were randomized into either an activity monitoring (N = 63) or activity monitoring with a pedometer (N = 62) arm over a six-week period. Outcomes included self-reported physical activity and well-being, and the 6-min walk test. Results: There were no group differences in self-reported physical activities and well-being. The 6-min walk test yielded no between-group differences. All participants increased the frequency of leisure walking (p < 0.01), frequency of all exercise-related activities (p < 0.01), frequency of moderate-intensity exercise activities (p < 0.01), and improved weekly caloric expenditure for all exercise activities (p < 0.05) by the end of the trial. Conclusions: Pedometers did not confer enhanced performance on the physical activity outcomes beyond those achieved through self-monitoring. Physical activity can be promoted among at-risk groups in a brief, inexpensive manner in primary care. Exercise prescription and culturally relevant enhancement strategies may optimize physical activity outcomes for elder American Indians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • American Indian
  • Exercise
  • Pedometers
  • Physical activity
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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