Master's Theses


Health and Human Performance

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This study investigated the cardiovascular changes that occurred following a 30 day period of nontraining of elderly stroke survivors participating in a health related exercise program. Data collection for the study occurred during exercise training sessions conducted at the Fort Hays State University Stroke Wellness and Research Center form 2003-2009. Breaks of this length are built into the Stroke Center’s operating schedule. Subjects were required to attend the Stroke Center at least twice a week for a minimum of one year without prolonged absences before the start of the nontraining period. Based on these requirements data for five subjects between the ages of 59 and 91 was used. A one group pretest and posttest was conducted on selected cardiovascular measures at test, immediately following exercise and during recovery. The variables of interest included heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, rate pressure product, rate pressure product per watt, mean arterial pressure, pulse pressure, cardiac index, vascular compliance and vascular resistance. Subjects included in the study were also asked to complete a survey of daily physical activity levels that included questions about rating activity levels during periods of regular attendance and breaks. A repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare pre and post break cardiovascular measure means. Analysis of the data showed statistically significant decreases in exercise diastolic blood pressure (p ≤ 0.05) form 68.20 ± 8.64 to 62.60 ± 6.77 mm Hg. All other cardiovascular variables showed no significant difference between pre and post break values. Results of the survey were also analyzed using ANOVA. This analysis showed that subjects rated their physical activity levels during breaks (2.75 ± .50) significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lower than periods of regular attendance (4.00 ±0.82). The results indicate that although elderly stroke survivors’ reports significantly lower activity levels during breaks from training, exercise diastolic blood pressure was the only variable to be significantly affected by 30 days of nontraining in the subject group investigated.


Dr. Greg Kandt

Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2008 Jacilyn Olson


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