Physical Activity after Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Matthew J. Field, Nick Gebruers, Thavapriya Shanmuga Sundaram, Sarah Nicholson, Gillian Mead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose. Physical activity is beneficial after stroke, but it is unclear how active stroke survivors are. This systematic review and meta-analysis sought to determine levels of activity and factors predicting activity. Summary of Review: Methods. MEDLINE (1946 to present) and EMBASE (1980 to present) were systematically searched until July 2012. All studies quantifying whole-body-free living physical activity by objective and self-reported methods in a community dwelling population with stroke were included. A random effect meta-analysis was performed. Results. Twenty-six studies were included ( ), of which eleven ( ) contained sufficient data for meta-analysis. There were heterogeneous designs, measurements, and procedures. The studies generally recruited small samples of high-functioning participants. Level of physical activity was generally low in quantity, duration and intensity. Poorer walking ability, specific sensorimotor functions, and low mood were correlates of low physical activity. Meta-analysis generated an estimate of 4355.2 steps/day (95% CI: 3210.4 to 5499.9) with no significant heterogeneity ( = 0). Conclusions. In high-functioning stroke survivors, physical activity including walking was generally low. Strategies are needed to promote and maintain physical activity in stroke survivors. Research is needed to establish reasons for low physical activity after stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalISRN Stroke
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Physical Activity after Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this