Pedometry and 'peer support' in older Chinese adults: a 12-month cluster randomised controlled trial

G N Thomas, D J Macfarlane, B Guo, B My Cheung, S M McGhee, K L Chou, J J Deeks, T H Lam, B Tomlinson

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There is a need to increase physical activity
to attenuate age-related morbidity. This 12-
month factorial design cluster trial randomised
399 volunteers from 24 centres to buddy peer
support, pedometry, or control group. Data were
anaysed using last-observation carried-forward
and intention-to-treat methods. Compared to the
controls, participants in the pedometry group
increased their levels of physical activity energy
expenditure significantly, as did those in the buddy
group. As recorded by the International Physical
Activity Questionnaire [IPAQ], the respective
increases amounted to 1820 (95% confidence interval
[CI], 1360-2290) and 1260 (95% CI, 780-17 460)
metabolic equivalent of task (MET).min.wk-1. The
buddy group also had significantly improved aerobic
fitness after adjustment for body weight (12%; 95%
CI, 4-21%), but this did not attain significance in
the pedometry group (7%; 95% CI, -1 to 15%). Our
results suggest that recourse to pedometers and
the buddy peer support system is simple means of
increasing physical activity in older subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-14
Number of pages4
JournalHong Kong Medical Journal
Issue number3 Suppl 3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Aged
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Health Behavior
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity
  • Peer Group
  • Physical Fitness
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support


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