To determine the effects of individually tailored interventions designed to increase physical activity (PA) in cardiac patients.
A total of 99 (77 men and 22 women, 61.5 ± 10.7 yr) patients entering a phase III cardiac rehabilitation program completed a 12-wk PA intervention. Patients were randomized to usual care (UC, time-based recommendation), pedometer feedback (PF), newsletter-based motivational messaging (MM), or PF + MM. Both PF groups were given a goal of increasing steps/d by 10% of individual baseline value each week. If the goal for the week was not reached, the same goal was used for the next week. Physical activity was assessed for 7 d before beginning and after completing the program. The change in steps/d, moderate to vigorous intensity PA minutes, and sedentary time were compared among intervention groups.
Average change in steps/d was found to be significantly greater (P < .01) in the PF (2957 ± 3185) and the PF + MM (3150 ± 3007) compared with UC (264 ± 2065) and MM (718 ± 2415) groups. No group experienced changes in moderate to vigorous intensity PA time and only the PF intervention group decreased sedentary time (baseline 470.2 ± 77.1 to postintervention 447.8 ± 74.9 min/d, P = .01).
The findings from this study demonstrate that using PF was superior to the usual time–based PA recommendations and to newsletter-based MM in patients starting a phase III CR program. Cardiac rehabilitation programs are encouraged to implement PA feedback with individualized PA goals in order to support the increase in PA.