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Effect of pretesting on intentions and behaviour: A pedometer and walking intervention

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This study addressed the influence of pedometers and a pretest on walking intentions and behaviour. Using a Solomon four-group design, 63 female university students were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: pedometer and pretest (n = 16), pedometer and no pretest (n = 16), no pedometer and pretest (n = 15), no pedometer and no pretest (n = 16). The pretest conditions included questions on walking, intentions to walk 12,500 steps per day, and self-efficacy for walking 12,500 steps per day. In the pedometer conditions a Yamax Digi-Walker SW-650 pedometer was worn for one week. All participants completed posttest questions. While significant pretest x pedometer interactions would have indicated the presence of pretest sensitisation, no such interactions were observed for either intention or self-reported walking. Wearing pedometers reduced intentions for future walking and coping self-efficacy. However, after controlling for pretest self-reported walking, pedometer use resulted in more self-reported walking. We conclude that wearing a pedometer increased self-reported walking behaviour but that a pretest did not differentially influence walking intentions, behaviour, or self-efficacy.
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Keywords: pedometers; physical activity; pretest sensitisation; social cognitive theories; walking

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation, University of Alberta, Alberta, T6G 2H9 Canada 2: Healthy Eating Physical Activity Team, Region of Peel-Public Health, Brampton, Ontario, L6S 4J3 Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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