Content » Vol 47, Issue 7

Original report

Effects of premorbid physical activity on stroke severity and post-stroke functioning

Marie Helene Ursin, Hege Ihle-Hansen, Brynjar Fure, Arnljot Tveit, Astrid Bergland
Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, , NO-3004 Drammen, Norway. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1972


Objective: To explore the impact of premorbid physical activity on stroke severity and functioning, measured by activities of daily living, gait and balance during the acute period of first-ever stroke and at one-year follow-up.
Methods: Acute phase and one-year follow-up registrations of 183 patients with first-ever stroke or transient ischaemic attack were included in the study. Gender, age, education, living arrangements, body mass index, smoking, hypertension, stroke classification and use of walking aids were recorded. Premorbid physical activity was recorded with the Walking Habits questionnaire. The outcomes post-stroke were the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, the Modified Ranking Scale, Barthel ADL Index, Maximal Walking Speed and Berg Balance Scale.
Results: Significant associations (p < 0.05) were found between the participants` pre-stroke “duration of regular walks” and functioning on all outcomes in the acute phase of stroke. Participants who walked for more than 30 min each time achieved significantly better results. The measures of gait and balance showed similar associations (p < 0.05) at one-year follow-up.
Conclusion: There are significant associations between premorbid walking habits and functional status after first-ever stroke. Weekly light-intensity activity, such as walking for more than 30 min, may have a sustained impact on functioning after stroke.

Lay Abstract


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