Study size varied from 15 to 106 participants each, and almost three-quarters of the patients were women. Special diets were not included as part of the studies.
Nevertheless, the researchers found what they called "remarkably consistent" results. With the exception of those participating in one of the studies, all of the enrolled patients ended up losing a small amount of weight by each study's end.
On average, participants lost about a tenth of a pound per week -- an amount the authors described as "small but important." They noted that over the course of a year, this figure translates into an expected weight loss of five pounds.
Such weight loss resulted from an average step count increase of between 2,000 to 4,000 steps (one to two miles) per day per participant over the course of each study.
Assuming a walking pace of three miles per hour, such increases were calculated to be the equivalent of an additional 20 to 40 minutes of walking per day.
Richardson and her colleagues also noted that the longer the program lasted, the greater the ultimate weight loss.
Weight loss was modest for most participants, the researchers stressed. However, pedometer-based walking programs should confer significant health benefits beyond weight loss, including lowered blood pressure and a boost in cardiovascular health.
Those coping with type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance may also reap related health rewards, Richardson's group noted.
"There are other things you can achieve as well," noted Richardson. "You can get stress relief, you may sleep better at night, have an improved mood. And focusing your motivation on some of these other changes may help you stick with the program. And if you stick with walking, you may eventually get the weight reduction g
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