2009 Volume 36 Issue 5 Pages 379-384
Concerning walking, which is generally employed as exercise therapy, we developed a new way to increase the number of steps taken by subjects. We used a point - scoring system dependent on the number of steps during walking as a reinforcer to encourage people to practice and continue favorable behaviors for the improvement of lifestyle habits. Applicants who lived in Western Japan received pedometers with a memory function. They were given one point per 1,000 steps, and the points were exchanged for cash vouchers (one point = one yen). Applicants were 1,392 males and 210 females. The average number of steps per day in male participants was 10,045 ± 6,373, and tended to increase with age. The average number of steps per day in female participants was 8,373 ± 5,682, and that of participants aged between 40 and 49 was less than that of participants in other age groups. The overall average number of steps was 1.3 times greater than that of Japanese people in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2005. Monthly analyses from April to October revealed that the male participants took 1,000 more steps than female participants every month, and no significant monthly change was observed in the number of steps taken. No significant decrease in the number of steps was observed after 270 days from the initiation of walking. Therefore, the point - scoring was considered to be an effective reinforcer to increase and maintain the number of steps taken during walking.