Workshop B

Prof. Frederike van Wijck, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow UK, Email:

What is this workshop about?
This workshop will focus on physical activity and sedentary behaviour among people with long term neurological conditions (LTNC, especially stroke), common fitness impairments and how these impact on function, activity and participation in this population.  Current best evidence for the effects of exercise and fitness training will be presented, together with an overview of how this has informed clinical guidelines across the world.  Although further research is required, it is clear that current evidence needs to be translated into practice without delay.  This workshop will focus on how integrating physical activity in neurological rehabilitation is everyone’s business, and explore strategies for making this happen.

Why is this topic important?
Most people with a LTNC are physically inactive, which has a negative impact on function, activity, participation, mental health and long-term morbidity.  There is an urgent need for interventions that are effective, sustainable and equitable to improve the lives of people with a LTNC – especially in middle- and low-income countries, where the impact of these conditions is highest.  Physical activity is a key candidate intervention, but current service provision is sub-optimal.  Seamless pathways are needed (across acute care, rehabilitation, outpatient and community settings) to support people with LTNCs in adopting a more physically active lifestyle across Europe and beyond.

Whom is this workshop for?
This workshop is relevant for health professionals (doctors, therapists, therapy assistants), exercise professionals, educators, insurers and policy makers who are involved in neurological rehabilitation.

What will I get out of this workshop?
The aim of this workshop is to provide delegates with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of physical fitness, appreciate the importance of providing physical activity services for people with LTNC (especially stroke), and discuss ideas of how evidence supporting exercise and fitness training may be implemented in practice, with a view to distil practical take-home messages to improve physical activity service provision in delegates’ own places of work.

Background literature
Best C, van Wijck F, Dinan-Young S, Dennis J, Smith M, Fraser H, Donaghy M, Mead G. (2010).  Best practice guidance for the development of exercise after stroke services in community settings.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University. Available from:
Collins M, Clifton E, van Wijck F, Mead Gillian E (2017).  Cost-effectiveness of physical fitness training for stroke survivors.  Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 48: 62–8 Available from: DOI: 10.4997/JRCPE.2018.115
Lloyd M, Skelton DA, Mead GE, Williams B, van Wijck F. Physical fitness interventions for nonambulatory stroke survivors: A mixed-methods systematic review and meta-analysis. Brain Behav. 2018;e01000. Available from:  DOI: 10.1002/brb3.1000
Mead G & van Wijck F (Eds). Exercise and fitness training after stroke: a handbook for evidence-based practice.  Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier (2013).  
Saunders DH, Sanderson M, Hayes S, Kilrane M, Greig CA, Brazzelli M, Mead GE. Physical fitness training for stroke patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD003316. Available from: DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003316.pub6
Saunders DH, van Wijck F, Townley B, Skelton DA, Fitzsimons C, Mead G. The BASES Expert Statement on Fitness, Physical Activity and Exercise after Stroke Produced on behalf of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. The Sport and Exercise Scientist 2016:49.  Available from:

About the speaker
Frederike qualified as a physiotherapist and human movement scientist in The Netherlands and is currently a professor of Neurological Rehabilitation at the School for Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University.  Her research focuses on optimising functional recovery after stroke, using targeted training, skill acquisition and behavioural change strategies.  This portfolio comprises systematic reviews on the effects and experiences of physical activity after stroke, studies on measurement of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, impact of goal setting and the design and evaluation of new physical activity interventions people with stroke at various stages of their stroke pathway.  She has been involved in designing the first UK Exercise and Fitness Training after Stroke course and the development of best practice guidelines for community-based exercise and fitness training after stroke.  She is an author/ editor of two books, both published by Elsevier: with Prof. Gillian Mead, she co-edited the book “Exercise and Fitness Training after Stroke: a handbook for evidence-based practice.  Together with Dr. Douglas McBean, she co-edited the textbook “Applied Neurosciences for the Allied Health Professions”. Frederike is a member of the Cochrane Stroke Editorial Group, research lead and founding member of the Scottish Stroke Allied Health Professions Forum and (but not much longer!) president of the European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation.