Study Looks at Physical Activity & Stroke Recovery

Posted On: 04-07-2017
Study Looks at Physical Activity & Stroke Recovery
A new study published in the journal Neurology found that those who were regularly physically active prior to suffering a stroke were less likely to experience a disability following the stroke.

The study, led by Pamela Rist of Harvard University, found that physical inactivity before a stroke pointed to higher risk of dependency before and after the stroke. The study looked at 18,000 participants who had no history of stroke. The participants were followed for an average of 12 years. During that time, almost 1,400 of the participants experienced a stroke and survived.

Researchers found that three years post-stroke, participants who had regularly exercised beforehand were 18% more likely to be able to perform basic tasks on their own. They were 16% more likely to be able to perform more complex tasks, like managing money, on their own.

Body fat and body mass index did not seem to be related to post-stroke recovery or disability—just fitness levels.
This study points toward the importance of regular exercise and shows that physical activity can provide benefits that last well into a patient’s future. Doctors and patients can apply this knowledge by adding active lifestyle to strategies for improving stroke recovery that already exist, such as reducing weight.

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