Physical Activity and Hypertension: Evidence of Cross-Sectional Studies,Cohort Studies and Meta-Analysis
Noel C. Barengo,
Physical activity is a cost-effective way to decrease blood pressure since it possesses potential for having a major public health impact. Prospective studies, have demonstrated that moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity at baseline seem to be associated with a lower incidence of hypertension among white men regardless of body mass index. The data among women are controversial. Further, there is not enough evidence at this moment to conclude that high commuting or occupational physical activity would be associated with a reduced risk for incident hypertension. Intervention studies however, have demonstrated that increased physical activity reduces systolic and diastolic blood-pressure in hypertensive and normotensive individuals independently from weight loss. In light of the evidence from these studies, physical activity should be practiced at a moderate intensity level (min. 40% of VO2 max) three times per week and for session times of at least 30 minutes in order to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Thus, physical activity should be considered as an important measure for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Physical activity is a costeffective way to decrease blood pressure since it possesses potential for having a major public health impact.
Keywords: Hypertension, leisure time, commuting, occupational physical activity
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