Nigerians have been told to take personal responsibility for their health and be physically active so that they can be counted among the 75 per cent of individuals who will not suffer a stroke in their lifetime.

President, Nigerian Stroke Organization (NSO), Professor Yomi Ogun stated that every individual was vulnerable to stroke but merely having 30 minutes of exercise five times a week can reduce their risk of having a stroke by 25 per cent.

Ogun, in a press release to mark the 2020 World Stroke Day stated that stroke was a leading cause of death, disability and dementia worldwide, but added that almost all strokes could be prevented.

Professor Ogun stated that from studies, physical inactivity was one of the major modifiable risk factors for stroke among Africans and as such exercising regularly can reduce the effect of several stroke’s risks factors including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, depression and stress.

He said that Nigerians needed to be as active as possible in their daily life at work or in their leisure time to stay healthy and also reduce their risk of stroke by getting involved in everyday activities like dancing, walking, gardening and house chores.

This, he said, should be added to at least two and a half hours a week of moderate to vigorous exercises, such as very brisk walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, and other aerobic exercises.

According to him, “This forms the basis of the theme for this year’s world stroke campaign, ‘Join the Movement, Don’t be the One’.  Findings from the SIREN study carried out among West Africans, show that physical inactivity is one of the major modifiable risk factors for stroke among Africans, including stroke occurring in persons less than 45 years.

“The message, therefore, is that every Nigerian must take personal responsibility for their health and be physically active so that they can be counted among the three out every four persons who will not suffer a stroke in their lifetime, rather than be among the one out of four who will have a stroke.”

Professor Ogun, however, said signs of stroke included balance loss, eyesight loss, facial drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty, adding that persons with stroke need to be rushed quickly to the hospital, being an emergency.

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