For survivors of stroke, their lifestyles can be dramatically altered.
"Stroke can be very individual, and some people will be left with residual deficits — so inability to walk, or difficulty talking, or may have lost function of one arm," Associate Professor Dr Coralie English, a researcher at the University of Newcastle, said.
"There're other deficits as well in terms of vision impairments, and cognition and fatigue being a major issue for many as well."
Study into health effects of sedentary lifestyleIn world-first research, Dr English and her team of researchers are looking at the health effects of a sedentary lifestyle on stroke patients.
"It's really about understanding the health impacts of sitting for long periods of time versus getting up frequently during the day for very light bouts of activity," Dr English said."We are getting people to come in three times in a random order and either sit all day and have regular blood [samples] taken to see how their body is metabolising their food and what's happening within their body systems.
"Then we get them to come back two more times — in one condition every half-an-hour they'll stand and do some gentle standing exercises; and [in the] third condition they'll get up every half-an-hour and do a short walk."
Patients involved in trial recall their stroke experienceMargaret Ashby, 74, had no warning signs in the lead up to her stroke seven years ago.
"At the time when it first happened, I started to laugh because everything looked distorted; so distorted it reminded me of a Picasso drawing where everything is all overlapping. It stayed like that for quite a few months," she said."Emotionally it is a shock; it really knocks your confidence sideways. I really kind of felt abandoned when it happened."
Kevin Brock, 76, had a stroke almost seven years ago and is involved in the clinical trial.
"It was concerning for my health," he said.
"[The study showed] that I hadn't walked anywhere near enough of what they were saying. I find that hard to do.
"I've found that I'm doing a bit more [exercise] again.
Improving lives of patients keyFor the researchers, they hope their study will improve the lives of stroke patients.
"[A] successful outcome will be that we understand all the benefits of getting up and moving more often," Dr English said.
"The next step is to then understand who our target group [is], who are the people we need to be focussing our interventions on; and exactly how much less sitting time across a day do people need to see benefits?
"Then it's looking at developing good interventions that will help to encourage people and enable people to sit less through the day so they have better long-term health."The ultimate aim is better advice and better interventions for people to enable them to move more and sit less, so they live a longer and healthier life after stroke."