Increasing moderate activity could cut stroke risk by 40%, research suggests

Older adults who increase the amount of moderate activity from less than three minutes a day to at least 14 minutes could cut their risk of stroke by more than 40%, research suggests. 

Being sedentary, whether sitting for long periods or otherwise not moving for lengthy bouts, has been linked to an increased risk of conditions from heart disease to obesity, with the World Health Organization stating that physical inactivity is a leading cause of disease and disability.

Writing in the journal Jama Network Open, researchers in the US reported how they analysed data collected through activity trackers worn for up to seven days by 7,607 participants within a period from 2009 to 2013.

“This study’s findings suggest that more time spent being physically active, especially at moderate intensities, and less time spent being sedentary, particularly in longer bouts, may help reduce the risk of stroke,” the authors said – although they warned that extrapolating specific results to individuals is more difficult.

The participants, who were on average just over 63 years old, were then followed up for an average of 7.4 years, in which time 286 of them had a stroke.