Around 1 in 5 people will die in the first month after a stroke, but disability occurs in more than half of the remainder. There is an urgent need to address recovery after stroke. Additionally, stroke survivors are at much greater risk of a second stroke. Currently, rehabilitation therapy after stroke focusses on restoring functions such as walking, swallowing and speech, with a primary goal of enabling people to return home. Improving physical fitness, particularly cardiorespiratory fitness, receives very little or no attention even though improving fitness has the potential to enhance recovery of function, prevent future stroke or other cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, and improve the quality of life of stroke survivors. This study will improve our understanding of the type and extent of fitness training needed for stroke survivors, and will inform the further develop of the fitness-training program.
Stroke is common in Australia and the number of people experiencing stroke will increase with the ageing population.