Older Men Lower Stroke Risk by Walking Daily at Any
Older men who walked at least one to two hours each
day at any pace had a reduced risk of stroke
Nov. 14, 2013 Older men who walked at least one
to two hours each day compared to less than half an hour per day had a
reduced risk of stroke, in a large
population-based study reported in the American Heart Association
In a study of 3,435 healthy men age 60 to 80,
researchers asked distance walked each week and usual walking pace. They
divided them into groups: those who spent zero-three hours a week;
four-seven hours; eight-14 hours; 15-21 hours; and more than 22 hours
walking per week. Men were followed for the next 10 years and monitored
for all new cases of stroke.
walked eight-14 hours per week had about one-third lower risk of stroke
than men who spent zero-three hours walking each week.
risk was about two-thirds lower for those walking more than 22 hours a
percent walked for more than eight hours per week while 9 percent walked
for more than 22 hours per week.
walked zero-three hours per week had 80 strokes per 10,000 person years
and men who walked eight-14 hours per week had 55 strokes per 10,000
If you took one thousand men who usually walk 8-14
hours per week and followed them for 10 years, on average they would
have 55 strokes, compared with 80 for the group who only walk zero to
three hours per week, explained Barbara Jefferis, Ph.D., study first
author and senior research associate in the Department of Primary Care &
Population Health at University College London in the U.K.
The total time spent walking was more consistently
protective against stroke than walking pace; overall it seemed that
accumulating more time walking was most beneficial.
Study participants were part of the British
Regional Heart Study, sampled from one primary care center in each of 24
towns across Britain. In 1998-2000, participants completed
questionnaires about various aspects of their walking activities and
other physical activities.
Nurses also conducted a range of traditional health
tests such as blood pressure and measured novel risk factors such as
Our findings suggest that regular walking each
week could be an important part of
stroke prevention strategies in
older people, Jefferis said.
Co-authors are Peter H. Whincup, Ph.D.; Olia
Papacosta, M.Sc.; and Sasiwarang Goya Wannamethee, Ph.D. Author
disclosures are on the manuscript.
The study was funded by the National Institute for
Health Research (NIHR post-doctoral fellowship to Barbara Jefferis) and
the British Heart Foundation.