cardiac rehabilitation, pedometer, physical activity, randomized controlled trial



  1. Butler, Lyra BHM (Hons)
  2. Furber, Susan PhD, MPH
  3. Phongsavan, Philayrath PhD, MPH
  4. Mark, Andrew BSc (Hons)
  5. Bauman, Adrian PhD, MPH, MBBS


PURPOSE: In Australia, patient adherence to physical activity after a cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) is poor. This study evaluated the efficacy of a pedometer-based intervention to increase physical activity after CRP.


METHODS: Patients (n = 110) who had attended a CRP were randomized into an intervention or a control group. The 6-week intervention included self-monitored physical activity using a pedometer and step calendar and 2 behavioral counseling and goal-setting sessions. Self-reported physical activity and psychosocial status were collected at baseline, 6 weeks, and 6 months. Participant exercise capacity was measured using a gas exchange analysis system.


RESULTS: Study groups were not significantly different at baseline, except for occupation. At 6 weeks and 6 months, improvements in total physical activity sessions (P = .002 and P = .016, respectively), walking minutes (P = .013, 6 weeks only), and walking sessions (P < .001 and P = .035) in the intervention group were significantly greater than those in the control group after adjusting for baseline differences. At 6 months, total physical activity minutes in the intervention group also increased significantly more than those in the control group (P = .044). These self-reported behavioral changes were corroborated by improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness at 6 months in the intervention group (P = .01). There were also significant improvements in psychosocial health at 6 weeks and 6 months in the intervention group.


CONCLUSION: The pedometer-based intervention was successful in increasing physical activity in cardiac patients after a CRP. This intervention could be given to patients to promote adherence to physical activity guidelines after a CRP, particularly in centers where maintenance programs are not available.