Promoting physical activity to older adults: A preliminary evaluation of three general practice-based strategies

C. M. Armit*, W. J. Brown, Carrie B. Ritchie, S. G. Trost

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of an exercise scientist (ES) working in general practice to promote physical activity (PA) to 55 to 70 year old adults. Participants were randomised into one of three groups: either brief verbal and written advice from a general practitioner (GP) (G1, N=9); or individualised counselling and follow-up telephone calls from an ES, either with (G3, N=8) or without a pedometer (G2, N=11). PA levels were assessed at week 1, after the 12-wk intervention and again at 24 weeks. After the 12-wk intervention, the average increase in PA was 116 (SD=237) min/wk; N=28, p<0.001. Although there were no statistically significant between-group differences, the average increases in PA among G2 and G3 participants were 195 (SD=207) and 138 (SD=315) min/wk respectively, compared with no change (0.36, SD= 157) in G1. After 24 weeks, average PA levels remained 56 (SD=129) min/wk higher than in week 1. The small numbers of participants in this feasibility study limit the power to detect significant differences between groups, but it would appear that individualised counselling and follow-up contact from an ES, with or without a pedometer, can result in substantial changes in PA levels. A larger study is now planned to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-450
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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