(HealthDay News) – Walking improves the physical health component of quality of life measures in stroke survivors, according to a study published online March 7 in Stroke.

Carron D. Gordon, PhD, from University of the West Indies in Jamaica, and colleagues split 128 stroke survivors into two groups, half in an intervention group that walked over ground for 30 minutes, three times per week for 12 weeks, and half in a control group that received massage to the affected side. Health-related quality of life was assessed by the Medical Outcomes Short Form, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Functional status was assessed with the Barthel Index and Older Americans Resource and Services scale. For endurance measurements a six-minute walk test was used, and the Motricity Index was used to measure lower extremity strength.

The researchers found that there was a trend toward significantly greater improvement over time for both the Physical Health Component of the SF-36 and for distance walked in six minutes in favor of the walking group.

“Aerobic walking improves the physical health component of quality of life and endurance in persons with chronic stroke,” the authors write.

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