Term of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Nick Siekirk

Committee Member 1

Greg Ryan

Committee Member 2

Sam Wilson

Committee Member 3

Ron Snarr

Committee Member 3 Email



Background: Chronic stroke patients (i.e., > six months since the onset of stroke) continue to experience persistent gait complications. Once formal physical therapy concludes, exercise professionals can implement exercise interventions designed to improve quality of life and reduce risk of secondary stroke. This systematic review aimed to evaluate whether lower-body aerobic exercise transferred to gait improvements in chronic unilateral stroke. Methods: An electronic search of the following databases were undertaken: MEDLINE, CINHAL, Ovid, and SPORTdiscus. Two independent reviewers selected articles using predetermined inclusion criteria: adults (i.e., >18 years old) who suffered from a chronic unilateral stroke. Additionally, all included studies were longitudinal exercise interventions (i.e., > four weeks) of lower-body aerobic training with pre- and post- intervention assessments of gait (e.g., field and laboratory measures). Results: A total of 19 studies were included. The three most common field measures utilized by researchers were six-minute walk test (68%), 10-meter walk test (42%), and Timed Up and Go (TUG) (31%). Treadmill intervention (n=12) improved gait field testing from 23.68% to 31.73%, while elliptical interventions (n=1) improved from 0.88% to 11.56% and cycling intervention(n=5) improved from 6.13% to 24.44%. The aquatic intervention (n=1) only performed the TUG with a 51.14% average improvement. Discussion: The results suggest that not all aerobic training modalities elicit the same improvements in gait field assessments. Conclusion: Gait improvements can occur following aerobic training; however, treadmill interventions produced greater averages of improvements in chronic unilateral stroke.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material