Pedometers help people lose weight: U.S. study
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Walking can help people lose weight, especially if they use a pedometer to make sure they are going far enough, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.
People who added 20 to 40 minutes of walking a day lost a small but steady amount of weight, the team at the University of Michigan found.
"The increase in physical activity can be expected to result in health benefits that are independent of weight loss," said Dr. Caroline Richardson, who led the study.
"Increasing physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems, lowers blood pressure and helps dieters maintain lean muscle tissue when they are dieting."
Writing in the Annals of Family Medicine, Richardson and colleagues said they reviewed nine studies involving 307 men and women. They took part in studies of pedometer use that ranged from four weeks to a year.
The volunteers in all the studies but one lost some weight -- about 0.1 pound (0.05 kg) a week on average, Richardson's team found. She found that the weight loss was "remarkably consistent" across all of the studies.
Over a year this added up to five pounds (2.25 kg). Changing eating habits could help even more, Richardson said.
People were able to add between 2,000 steps per day to more than 4,000 steps per day. For the average person, 2,000 steps equals about a mile.
(Reporting by Maggie Fox)