Issue addressed: To evaluate the effectiveness of a brief intervention using a pedometer and step-recording
diary on promoting physical activity in people with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).
Methods: People with type 2 diabetes or IGT who attended the Illawarra Diabetes Service were invited to
participate. Participants in the intervention group received a pedometer and a diary to record their daily steps
for a two-week period. Both the intervention and comparison group received advice on physical activity.
Physical activity levels were measured using the Active Australia Survey at baseline, and at two and 20 weeks.
Results: A total of 226 participants were recruited. At two-week follow-up the mean self-reported minutes
of walking was significantly higher in the intervention group than the comparison group (223 minutes versus
164 minutes; p=0.01), as was the percentage of intervention participants achieving recommended levels
of moderate-intensity physical activity (63.5% versus 41.8%, p=0.02) and the percentage of intervention
participants achieving adequate levels of total physical activity (68.9% versus 48.0%, p=0.04). There were no
differences between study groups for any physical activity measure at 20-week follow-up.
Conclusions: A pedometer and a step-recording diary were useful tools to promote short-term increase in
physical activity in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or IGT. Future studies need to examine whether
a longer intervention, individualised physical activity counselling and support for achieving step goals could
result in increasing physical activity over the long term.