Effectiveness of Motivational Education Program Combined with Pedometer Use in Promoting Physical Activity among Saudi Females: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Objective: Physical activity improves overall health and wellness. There is an escalating level of physical inactivity and high obesity prevalence among the Saudi population; more so among women, due to various cultural factors. The aim of this study was to examine whether using a pedometer, in addition to a motivational education program, improved adherence to a walking program and general health of Saudi women.
Methods: A total of 161 participants were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. A motivational education session followed by weekly motivation text messaging was given to both groups. Participants in the experimental group also used pedometers to promote physical activity.
Results: Adherence, measured by the number of participants completing the 8-week intervention, was significantly higher in the experimental group than the control group (73 of 81 [90%] experimental group; 32 of 80 [40%] control group). No significant differences were seen between groups for physical activity levels or general health parameters before or after the intervention.
Conclusion: Step-counts were below recommended levels of physical activity, reflecting high levels of inactivity among Saudi women. Use of a pedometer improved adherence with a walking program but did not significantly affect physical activity levels or general health parameters.