If you are reading this, perhaps you have a family member or friend who is a stroke survivor. And perhaps you have heard that regular physical activity can improve physical and psychosocial outcomes for stroke survivors.
Yet, many stroke survivors engage in very low levels of physical activity. And while we may think to credit it to a lack of motivation, a recent survey has shown otherwise.
Why are stroke survivors often inactive?
The study was done by students from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). It studied the barriers to physical activity faced by 38 stroke survivors from the Singapore National Stroke Association (SNSA).
The study credited a lack of suitable exercise classes for them at fitness centres. As well as this is a lack of assistance from fitness centre staff and feelings of tiredness/fatigue.
Other significant factors include a lack of appropriate exercise equipment at fitness centres, concerns about injuries or high membership fees, among others.
MOTIVATE: A multi-prong approach to encourage physical activity
To create an environment that is more conducive for these patients to be active, SIT will be collaborating with Singapore General Hospital, Sport Singapore, SNSA, and Republic Polytechnic to introduce MOTIVATE – a multi-modal training programme to promote physical activity after a stroke.
With the MOTIVATE programme, we hope to improve stroke survivors’ access to fitness centres. This is a step towards an inclusive society where stroke survivors have the same access and opportunities to physical activity as the rest of Singapore’s healthy population.
Dr Shamala Thilarajah, Principle Physiotherapist at Singapore General Hospital(SGH)
The programme will include education and training resources for these survivors, caregivers, healthcare and fitness professionals. These programmes will cover important topics like health screening prior to exercise, selection and modification of exercises using gym equipment and adaptive aids such as arm and leg straps.
The MOTIVATE programme, which is due for completion at the end of 2022, will also work on establishing a pathway to improve access and use of fitness centres for stroke survivors in Singapore.
Information provided by Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
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