Walking and hypertension: greater reductions in subjects with higher baseline systolic blood pressure following six months of guided walking
The aim of the study was to assess the effects of walking on the blood pressure in sedentary adults with differing degrees of systolic blood pressure (SBP). Methods A total of 529 subjects with SBP above 120 mmHg were enrolled. Blood pressure, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference and walking speed were determined at enrolment and after six months. Walking sessions were supervised by exercise physiologists. Results The weekly walking time of the subjects completing the project was
... iform and reached 300 minutes by the second month. 56% of participants completed the 6 months intervention (182 women 59.6 ± 9.0 years, and 114 men, 65.4 ± 8.6 years) 27 had a baseline SBP >160 mm Hg, 35 between 150–159, 70 between 140–149, 89 between 130–139 and 75 between 120–129 mmHg. Following six months of supervised walking, SBP was significantly reduced in all subgroups (p < 0.001), with the greatest reduction (−21.3 mmHg) occurring in subjects with baseline SBP >160 and the smallest reduction (−2.6 mmHg) occurring in subjects with baseline SBP of 120–129 mmHg. Diastolic blood pressure, body weight, body mass index and waist circumference were also significantly reduced following the walking intervention (p < 0.001). These reductions were nearly identical within the various groups. Discussion In a large group of sedentary adults with varying degrees of SBP, 6 months of supervised walking elicited a marked reduction in systolic blood pressure with the largest reductions in pressure occurring in individuals with higher baseline SBP.