Uptake of Pedometer-based Physical Activity: Success and Challenges of a Church based Physical Activity Promotion Programme among Overweight and Obese Adults in Kenya

Jane Kamau, Peter Mwangi, Lucy-Joy Wachira

Abstract

Physical inactivity is among the modifiable risk factors to overweight and obesity. Targeting community units in promoting active lifestyles is beneficial in offering social support. Technological devices such as pedometers can promote physical activity at individual level by providing feedback. This paper presents the success and challenges in implementing an on-going longitudinal pedometer-based PA programme in a selected church in Kenya. Baseline results of 100 participants indicated that 20% were overweight and 26% were obese with BMI scores being higher in those aged 30 years and above. There was significant correlation between BMI and WHR (r=0.67 for females, r=0.88 in males). Physical inactivity among 46 participants in the PA programme was at 52.4%. Most of them work in offices (81%) and use private (71.4%) or public (19%) motorized transport. Majority of them (75%) do not use pedometers to track PA and do not follow guidelines of the programme. Cost, time and competing priorities were cited to hinder participation. The 25% of pedometer users acknowledge their importance and influence to their participation in PA. This paper recommends that the church device strategies to navigate the challenges of physical inactivity while tapping into the resources available within the church settings.

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