Walking Time, Not Intensity, May Be Most Essential in Reducing Stroke Risk

walking stroke_riskA new study published in Stroke reaffirms the link between reducing stroke risk and walking in older men; however, walking time, not intensity, may be the most significant factor. For the study, British researchers report on data involving 3,357 ambulatory men who took part in a 10-year study related to heart health, according to a news release from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The men reportedly ranged in ages from 60 years to 80 years and were grouped according to different factors, including time spent walking.

The research team found that the men who spent more time walking each week (8 to 14 hours) reduced their stroke risk by approximately 33% over those who spent a minimal amount of time walking (0 to 3 hours a week) over the 10-year period. The APTA news release notes that when the researchers compared distance/speed data among time cohorts, no significant association was found between distance and stroke risk reduction. Essentially, time spent walking mattered more than the pace of the stride.

The authors of the study write, “Among community-dwelling older men we observed … a strong inverse dose-response association between time spent walking and risk of stroke, independent of walking pace, vigorous physical activity, established, and novel risk factors.” In addition, the authors write, “Results suggest that total volume of walking rather than the intensity is important for stroke prevention.”

Source: Stroke, APTA