Increasing daily steps is important to maintain health and prevent both initial and subsequent cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD) events. Even 5000 steps have been associated with reduced risk of CVD, however many adults and those with CVD walk fewer than 5000 daily steps. Reduced gait speed is a precursor to decreased physical engagement and is associated with biomarker changes linked to higher risk of CVD. Gait speed is decreased in those with CVD, which may be from changes in biomechanics including reduced step length and increased gait variability. Changes in gait and daily steps are often most discernable post-stroke, which may be from limitations of the CV system in meeting the metabolic demands of walking and the nervous system in exciting motoneuron pools to generate muscle force. This leads to gait asymmetries and decreased speed. Information regarding the effects of rehabilitation interventions (e.g., physical therapy) to increase physical activity (PA) in stroke survivors is limited. Current interventions include high intensity gait training and ischemic conditioning to improve walking speed and fatigability. Given the potential benefits of increased PA and daily steps following stroke, there is a need for more research investigating optimal dosage of daily steps and interventions to improve PA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine