There is now good empirical evidence of physical and functional benefits for individuals with stroke from long-term engagement in a range of physical activities. However, long-term participation of stroke survivors in physical activity after rehabilitation is low, and maximum benefits are not being achieved. This article reviews relevant literature and evidence, and suggests that physiotherapists are ideally placed to support patients in long-term participation in activity as they prepare patients for the end of physical rehabilitation. However, this requires the development, testing and application of stroke-specific evidence-based behavioural and motivational interventions that are feasible in clinical practice, take account of the role of carers, and seek to address the barriers to activity faced by stroke survivors at the end of rehabilitation. It also requires physiotherapists to take a leading role in developing appropriate policies and strategies with other exercise professionals and services to address the transition from rehabilitation to an active lifestyle following stroke.
- physical activity