Wearing a pedometer while you walk can help you lose weight even without changing your diet, according to a University of Michigan Health System analysis of nine studies.
Participants in the studies increased the distance they walked by one mile to slightly more than two miles each day. At an average pace of three miles per hour, that means the walkers were getting an additional 20 to 40 minutes of activity a day. On average, they lost 0.05 kilograms per week (about 0.11 pounds) for an average total of 1.27 kilograms (2.8 pounds) throughout the duration of the studies.
“The amount of weight loss attributable to pedometer-based walking programs is small but significant,” says lead author Caroline R. Richardson, MD. She notes that the analysis also indicates that participants tended to lose more weight in the longer studies.
“The increase in physical activity can be expected to result in health benefits that are independent of weight loss,” Richardson says. “Increasing physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems, lowers blood pressure, and helps dieters maintain lean muscle tissue when they are dieting.”
Over a year, participants in pedometer-based walking programs can expect to lose about five pounds. A faster way to see results: Complement your pedometer-based walking program with a nutrition plan.