Affiliation: Department of Health and Exercise Science, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
Physical activity (PA) is prescribed as an important method of treatment for type 2 diabetes (T2DM), but is neglected in a majority of patients. Walking is an appropriate and safe form of PA which improves glucose utilization in inactive people diagnosed with T2DM. Pedometers have been successfully used to motivate and track progress in many types of walking programs, but there is no current review of their effectiveness compared to other methods to increase PA in people with T2DM. A systematic literature review was performed using MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, ERIC, and Academic Search Premier to determine the effectiveness of pedometer-based walking interventions at increasing PA in free-living adults with T2DM. Ten studies from 2004 to 2011 were included. All studies were randomized controlled trials except for one quasi-experimental design. Interventions lasted from 6 weeks to 6 months and only 2 studies showed significant improvements in blood glucose control following the intervention. Nine of the ten interventions were able to produce an increase in PA using a pedometer and/or other methods. Pedometers are effective means of increasing PA among T2DM patients in the short-term while several other intervention methods beyond normal treatment are also successful. Future research should include longer intervention durations, low cost methods, larger sample sizes, and dietary intervention components to further understand successful intervention techniques for patients with T2DM.