How to Prevent Stroke in Women?…Walking

Print pagePDF pageEmail page

If you are a woman and will like to reduce your risk of stroke, you might like to walk at least 2 hours a week, especially at a brisk pace.

According the long-term follow-up of the Women’s Health Study (WHS) that involved 39,315 healthy US women 45 years and older and followed up for 12 years, women who walked 2 hours or more per week had a 30% lower risk for any stroke than women who did not walk.  Furthermore, women who walked at a brisk pace (>4.8 km/hour) had a 37% lower risk for any stroke than women who did not walk.

At baseline, women were asked to estimate the average time spent on 8 groups of recreational activities during the past year: walking or hiking; jogging; running; bicycling; aerobic exercise; aerobic dance; use of exercise machines; tennis, squash, or racquetball; lap swimming; and lower-intensity exercise, including yoga.  They were also asked about their walking pace.

The patients were stratified into different groups: those who do not walk regularly and those who walk at a pace of less than 3.2 km/hour, 3.2 to 4.7 km/hour (considered to be an average pace), 4.8 to 6.3 km/hour (considered to be brisk pace), or 6.4 or more km/hour (a striding pace).

After a follow-up of 13 years, the investigators found an inverse relationship between the amount of time spent walking and decrease in stroke.

Table 1. Stroke Risk According to Time Spent Walking at Baseline and at 3 Years of Follow-Up

Time spent walking at baseline/at 3 years (hours per week) <2/<2 <2/≥2 ≥2/<2 ≥2/≥2
Total stroke, No. of cases 117 29 26 31
Ischemic stroke, No. of cases 98 28 19 26
Hemorrhagic stroke, No. of cases 19 1 7 5

The WHS was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Stroke. Published online April 6, 2010.

Please visit us at for more health related articles.

Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!
This entry was posted in Cardiovascular disease, Stroke and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.