Publication Date

Summer 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Peggy Plato


cardiac, exercise, quality of life, rehabilitation, resting blood pressure, waist circumference

Subject Areas



In this study, the effects of supplemental, home-based walking on resting systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and quality of life (QoL) in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) patients were evaluated. Twelve patients wore pedometers during the last four weeks of their 12-week CR program. Resting systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and QoL were measured at weeks 1, 8, and 12. After data collection, participants were categorized into low, moderate, and high volume groups based on their average number of steps taken per week. There was significant improvement in QoL during the 12-week CR program (F(2,9) = 10.940, p < .001). Participants rated their QoL better at weeks 8 (p = .02) and 12 (p < .001) than at week 1. However, the amount of supplemental walking during the final four weeks of the CR program did not affect QoL scores (F(2,9) =.165, p > .05). Although there were no significant differences in waist circumference across time or walking groups, the number of average weekly steps was significantly correlated with changes in waist circumference between weeks 1 and 12 (r = -.592, p = .042), and between weeks 8 and 12 (r = -.645, p = .024). Surprisingly, there was a statistically significant increase in resting systolic blood pressure across all groups during the CR program (F(2,9) = 5.002, p = .019). Thus participating in the CR program resulted in improved QoL; however, the small number of participants limited the power to detect differences in the outcome measures between walking groups.