Sitting and Activity Time in People With Stroke

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Excessive sitting time is linked to cardiovascular disease morbidity. To date, no studies have accurately measured sitting time patterns in people with stroke.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the amount and pattern of accumulation of sitting time, physical activity, and use of time in people with stroke compared with age-matched healthy peers.


This study used an observational design.


Sitting time (total and time accumulated in prolonged, unbroken bouts of ≥30 minutes) was measured with an activity monitor. Physical activity and daily energy expenditure were measured using an accelerometer and a multisensory array armband, respectively. All monitors had a 7-day wear protocol. Participants recalled 1 day of activity (during monitor wear time) using the Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adults.


Sixty-three adults (40 with stroke and 23 age-matched healthy controls) participated. The participants (35% female, 65% male) had a mean age of 68.4 years (SD=10.0). Participants with stroke spent significantly more time sitting (X[Combining Overline]=10.9 h/d, SD=2.0) compared with controls (X[Combining Overline]=8.2 h/d, SD=2.0), with much of this sitting time prolonged (stroke group: X[Combining Overline]=7.4 h/d, SD=2.8; control group: X[Combining Overline]=3.7 h/d, SD=1.7). Participants with stroke accumulated most of their sitting time while watching television and in general quiet time, whereas control participants spent more time reading and on the computer. Physical activity and daily energy expenditure were lower in the stroke group compared with the control group.


A sample of convenience was used to select participants for the stroke and control groups, which may reduce the generalizability of results.


Participants with stroke spent more time sitting and less time in activity than their age-matched peers. Further work is needed to determine whether reducing sitting time is feasible and leads to clinically important reductions in cardiovascular risk in this population.

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