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Sit less, move more after stroke
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Sit less, move more after stroke

Professor Coralie English, Institution: The University of Newcastle

2016 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2017-2020


Sitting for long periods of time each day increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. People with existing cardiovascular disease and those who have difficulty moving around are at particular risk, including the 440,000 current Australian stroke survivors, of whom almost half will suffer another stroke. Breaking up sitting time with short bursts of activity significantly reduces cardiovascular disease risk factors and may help prevent recurrent strokes. My group is leading the world in understanding the link between high sitting time and health for people with stroke.

During this program of research, the work I led found:
  1. Interrupting long periods of sitting with short, low intensity bouts of physical activity every 30 minutes (standing exercises or walking) did not improve spikes in glucose levels after meal (English et al Int J Stroke 13 2018a), but did lead to a reduction systolic blood pressure (English et al Int J Stroke 2018b)
  2. The follow-up study found that at least 4 x 5 min bouts of standing exercises over an 8-hour period is needed to see beneficial reductions in systolic blood pressure (Mackie et al J Phys Activity Health 2021a) and glucose control (Mackie et al J Phys Activity Health 2021b) This is equivalent to completing standing exercises every 2 hours. The more bouts of standing exercises completed the greater the reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
This work is continuing. I am currently leading a telehealth-based trial supporting people with stroke to be more physically active and eat a healthy diet. (English et al Cerebrovasc Dis 2021) I am also a key collaborator on 2 international trials. The RECREATE trial (led by Prof Anne Forster, Leeds University, UK) has co-designed and is now testing the efficacy of an intervention to reduce sitting time after stroke. The RISE-intervention study (led by Prof Cindy Veenhof, Utrecht University, Netherlands) is testing a digital intervention to reduce sitting time, targeted to stroke survivors with the riskiest patterns of movement behaviour.

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