Are patients 1 year post-stroke active enough to improve their physical health?

Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(7):574-80. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.613513. Epub 2011 Oct 8.


Purpose: This study aimed to quantify physical activity one year post-stroke--by means of a multifaceted approach combining absolute, relative, and self-reported measures of physical activity (PA)--and to investigate their mutual associations. The determinants of PA were explored.

Method: Daily PA was measured in 16 mildly disabled stroke patients (median RMA-GF score of 12 (IQR = 10-12.5)) using a heart rate monitor, a pedometer, the Baecke Physical Activity Questionnaire and the Physical Activity Scale for individuals with physical disabilities. Potential determinants were age, gender, functional mobility, peak exercise capacity, mood, participation and hours of daylight.

Results: On average, stroke participants had a good baseline level of activity (44 ± 39 min/day spent moderate active, 6428 ± 4117 steps/day), but only three (19%) performed more than 10,000 steps/day, required for health benefits. Functional mobility, cardiorespiratory fitness, mood and participation were related to the total daily steps, but not to the time spent in moderate intense activities. Discrepancies between absolute (frequency and duration) and relative (intensity) measures of PA exist regarding the achieved quantity and its potential determinants.

Conclusions: It is not only important to be active, but to be active enough to improve health. Health recommendation for stroke survivors to perform moderate intense PA needs to be translated into a pedometer-based step goal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Belgium
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Motor Activity*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors
  • Time Factors
  • Walking