OBJECTIVE: Insomnia, anxiety, and depression are some psychological symptoms associated with menopause. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pedometer-based walking on anxiety, insomnia, and depression among postmenopausal women.
METHODS: In this randomized, controlled trial, 106 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to two groups (n = 53 in each group). Their anxiety, insomnia, and depression levels were assessed using the GHQ-28 and Beck questionnaires in the 4th, 8th, and 12th weeks of intervention. The depression level was assessed in the beginning, and in the 12th week of the trial. The members of the intervention group each received a pedometer and were asked to increase their steps by 500 per week. Data were analyzed using the independent t-test, χ(2) and repeated-measures tests.
RESULTS: The levels of anxiety and insomnia decreased in the 8th (4.2 ± 2.1 vs. 5.4 ± 2.3, p = 0.007) and 12th week (4.3 ± 2.8 vs. 7.2 ± 2.6, p < 0.001) in the intervention group, compared with the control group. The depression intensity decreased in the intervention group, compared with the control group, after 12 weeks (13.7 ± 5 vs. 19.6 ± 4.79, p < 0.001). The intervention group increased their step count from 76,377 steps per month in the first month, to 106 398 in the 3rd month (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: This study showed that pedometer-based walking had a positive effect on depression, insomnia and anxiety among postmenopausal women. A walking training program can be considered for postmenopausal women in Iran.