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Hypertension: this reflex adopted 30 minutes a day would help regulate tension in seniors

  • April 3, 2024
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hypertension:-this-reflex-adopted-30-minutes-a-day-would-help-regulate-tension-in-seniors

L’high blood pressure (hypertension) affects one in three adults in France, according to Santé Publique France. The latter “constitutes a major risk factor for cardio-neuro-vascular pathologies”. Certain elements can promote its appearance such as smoking, poor diet or even physical inactivity. On this last point, American researchers questioned the impact of the duration of sitting on the risk of blood pressure in the elderly.

According to experts from the University of Washington, Seattle (United States), reducing the time spent sitting by more than 30 minutes per day could be a practical strategy to promote the health of older people. Their results are published in the magazine Jama Open Network.

Sitting 30 minutes less per day could reduce blood pressure in hypertensive seniors

To achieve these results, researchers conducted a clinical trial on 283 people aged 60 to 89. The latter were in a situation obesity (they presented a BMI over 30) and spent at least 6 hours sitting per day. Then they were divided into two groups. The first received advice from a coach to improve diet and reduce a sedentary lifestyle. Additionally, they were equipped with a “standing desk.” Participants wore a movement tracker and were asked to reduce the amount of time they spent sitting by two hours per day.

The second group was a control group and followed coach recommendations to adopt a healthy lifestyle. For the second group, there was no follow-up. There arterial pressure was noted at the start of the study, after 3 months and then at the end of follow-up. As a reminder, people with systolic blood pressure (maximum blood pressure) greater than 140 mm Hg or diastolic greater than 90 mm Hg, are considered to have high blood pressure.

Hypertension: small changes to combat a sedentary lifestyle would be beneficial in people at risk

Six months later, the researchers noticed that these interventions had reduced 31 minutes per day, on average the time spent in a seated position. Although the initial objective of two hours per day was not achieved, according to the authors, this made it possible to reduce systolic blood pressure (SBP), the highest value, near 3.5 mm Hg. The researchers point out that for comparison, aerobic physical activity (such as walking or dancing for example) reduces SBP by 4 mm Hg and weight loss by 3 mm Hg.

The researchers note that this intervention “resulted in significant improvements in blood pressure”, particularly because the participants had a high risk of hypertension. In their conclusions, the authors of the study emphasize that in a population with a higher cardiovascular risk, “small changes in sitting habits were enough to improve blood pressure.” The researchers, however, call for new research to deepen their results.

Sources :

  • Sitting Time Reduction and Blood Pressure in Older Adults – Jama Open Network
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) – Public Health France
author avatar
Louis Tardy