A randomized walking trial in postmenopausal women: Effects on physical activity and health 10 years later

M. A. Pereira, A. M. Kriska, R. D. Day, J. A. Cauley, R. E. LaPorte, L. H. Kuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Background: It is important to determine if permanent lifestyle changes may result from physical activity interventions and whether health may be affected by these changes. Objective: To conduct a 10-year follow-up of physical activity and self-reported health status in participants of a randomized clinical trial of walking intervention. Methods: Of the original 229 volunteer postmenopausal women who participated in the original clinical trial, 196 (N = 96 intervention and 100 controls) completed the 10-year follow-up telephone interview. The interview protocol included questions on self-reported walking for exercise and purposes other than exercise, the Paffenbarger sport and exercise index, functional status, and various chronic diseases and conditions. Results: The median values for both usual walking for exercise and total walking were significantly higher for walkers compared with controls (for both, P = .01), with median differences of 706 and 420 kcal/wk, respectively. After excluding women who reported heart disease during the original trial, 2 women in the walking group (2%) and 11 women in the control group (12%) reported physician-diagnosed heart disease over the last 10 years (P = .07). There were also fewer hospitalizations, surgeries, and falls among women in the walking group, although these differences were not statistically significant (P>.05). Conclusions: Although limited by self- report, this study may be the first to demonstrate long-term exercise compliance to a randomized control trial in older women and to suggest that health benefits may have ensued as a result of these increased activity levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1695-1701
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 24 1998


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