Four-week pedometer-determined activity patterns in normal-weight, overweight and obese adults

OBJECTIVE: To assess pedometer-determined ambulatory activity in normal-weight, overweight and obese UK adults. METHODS: 86 normal-weight (BMI<25 kg/m2) (age = 34±12.1 years), 91 overweight (BMI 25–29.9 kg/m2) (age = 40.6±13.6 years), and 75 obese (BMI≥30 kg/m2) (age = 41.2±12.4 years) participants, from the East Midlands, provided four-weeks of continuous pedometer-determined activity data, during the winter in 2006. Activity levels and patterns were assessed for all three groups. RESULTS: The normal-weight group had a significantly higher mean step count (10247 steps/day) than the overweight (9095 steps/day) and obese (8102 steps/day) participants (p<0.05). No differences in step counts were observed between the overweight and obese groups. A consistent reduction in activity was observed on Sundays in all groups, with this reduction being two-fold greater in the overweight and obese groups (~2000 steps/day) when compared with the normal-weight group (~1000 steps/day). CONCLUSIONS: With the increasing prevalence of obesity in the UK, changes in the activity levels of those at risk are needed. The issuing of pedometers to overweight and obese individuals, with the instruction to increase their ambulatory activity on all days of the week, with particular emphasis on Sunday activity, could be a good starting point in tackling the problem of obesity in the UK.