The Effect of Three Different Exercise Prescriptions on Daily Physical Activity

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Brian Rider & Dr. Maureen Dunn, Kinesiology

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Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness pedometers have on increasing individuals’ daily physical activity (PA) levels. A large part of their effectiveness lies in their ability to monitor daily activity and provide motivation for an individual to exercise. PURPOSE: To examine the impact of various exercise prescriptions (3,000 more steps, 30 min extra per day, or 1500 steps more 2 times daily) on participant’s PA, measured via pedometer. METHODS: Eighteen insufficiently active Hope College students participated and were randomly assigned one of four prescription groups. Groups included an additional 3,000 steps (A), 30 added minutes of PA (B), two bouts of 1500 steps (C), and a no-prescription control group (D). Each participant completed a four-day baseline period recorded by the pedometer. Pre- and post-tests measured weight, height, stride length, resting heart rate and resting blood pressure. The following two weeks included daily logging of data and weekly meetings with investigators to record the pedometer data. RESULTS: A 1x3 repeated measures ANOVA and paired t-tests analyzed the study’s data. The groups’ average daily steps (including baseline, week one and two) were: A (7290.0 ± 4118.7), B (6505.2 ± 4726.0), C (5665.7 ± 6002.6), and D (8035.5 ± 4932.3). The average daily aerobic steps were: A (1324.9 ± 2502.4), B (1216.0 ± 3657.4), C (387.3 ± 1052.9), and D (1529.6 ± 2742.5). The control group was significantly different between their baseline and 2nd week of prescription (p=0.04). No other comparisons between groups or overall were significant (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: No prescription appeared to significantly increase a person’s daily PA. Prescriptions did keep participants’ daily steps consistent; whereas, the control group significantly decreased in daily PA.

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