Programs aimed at increasing physical activity in daily life (PADL) have generated growing interest to prevent the deleterious effects of physical inactivity. Recent literature has shown that a short-term protocol using pedometers increased PADL in smokers with normal lung function. However, the long-term effects of such a protocol were not yet studied. The objective of this study was to evaluate the results of 1-year follow-up after a program aimed at increasing PADL in smokers with normal lung function.
Twenty-four smokers were followed (15 men; mean [interquartile range (IQR)], 51 [41-57] years of age; BMI, 26 [22-29] kg/m2; 20 [20-30] cigarettes/d). Subjects were assessed at baseline, immediately after completion of the program, and 1 year later for PADL, lung function, 6-min walking distance (6MWD), smoking habits, quality of life, anxiety, and depression. The 5-month program used pedometers and informative booklets as interventions.
The gains achieved after the program were maintained in the long term: steps/d (postprogram vs 1-year follow-up, mean [IQR]: 10,572 [9,804-12,237] vs 10,438 [9,151-12,862]); 6MWD (625 [530-694] m, 88 [81-97] % predicted vs 609 [539-694] m, 89 [81-96] % predicted), anxiety (34 [26-41] points vs 35 [36-47] points) and depression (6 [2-9] points vs 5 [2-11] points) (P > .05 for all). One year after the program, 20% of the subjects had quit smoking.
In smokers with normal lung function, improvements in daily physical activity, exercise capacity, anxiety, and depression obtained through a 5-month program aimed at increasing physical activity are sustained 1 year after completion of the program. Furthermore, such a program can contribute to smoking cessation in this population.