Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Physically Able Stroke Patients Often Sedentary

“Many people who have survived a stroke have the ability to be physically active but aren't, according to research published in the journal Stroke. ‘We were surprised and troubled at how little physical activity our participants with stroke were doing at home and in their community,’ study investigator Dr. Janice Eng told Reuters Health. ‘These were not people with severe stroke, but they had what we consider mild stroke; all could walk independently, yet their physical activity was less than half of what similar aged persons without stroke normally do.’ Their sedentary lifestyle could increase their risk of a second stroke, Eng warned. To gauge how active people with stroke are, Eng, from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and colleagues had 40 stroke patients wear an accelerometer on each hip for three consecutive days at home and during a 6-minute walk test in the laboratory. ‘Importantly,’ Eng said, ‘we found that these individuals had the physical ability, but were not using their abilities to do physical activity.’ This is ‘worrisome, as people with chronic conditions can easily fall into a cycle of sedentary lifestyle and further disability,’ she added. More than half of the stroke survivors (58 percent) did not meet recommended physical activity levels. We know that up to 30 percent of people who have a stroke go on to have another stroke,’ Eng said. ‘Given that physical activity and exercise is such a key method to reduce the risk of a second stroke, we really need to get the message out to these individuals, their families and health care workers that regular physical activity is an essential lifestyle modification for people who have had a stroke.’”


No comments: