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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS

A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology


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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  SPORT CARDIOLOGY


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 April;57(4):469-75

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06239-3

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

One single bout of low-intensity isometric handgrip exercise reduces blood pressure in healthy pre- and hypertensive individuals

Tim van ASSCHE, Roselien BUYS, Mats de JAEGER, Ellen COECKELBERGHS, Véronique A. CORNELISSEN

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium


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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the acute effect of one single session of isometric handgrip exercise (IHG) on blood pressure (BP) during daily life activities in healthy adults.
METHODS: Fifteen healthy adults with pre- or stage 1 hypertension (10 men; mean age 48±7.1 years) completed two experimental sessions in random order: one control (rest for 15 minutes) and one low intensity IHG session (4×2 minutes sustained contractions at 30% of maximal volutional contraction interspersed with 1-minute rest intervals). Blood pressure was recorded before each intervention and following the intervention BP was recorded for one hour in the office and thereafter for 6 hours during their daily activities by means of an ambulatory BP device. Physical activity (number of steps and total energy expenditure) was assessed by means of a SenseWear mini device.
RESULTS: Systolic BP was higher the first minute after the isometric handgrip exercise but quickly returned to baseline levels after 15 minutes in the office. Over the 7-hour period, systolic blood pressure was significantly lower (-5.4±7.3 vs. +0.23±6.9; P<0.05) after IHG compared to the control session. Although not significant, a tendency was observed towards a lower diastolic blood pressure after IHG compared to control (P=0.09). Physical activity behavior was similar on both days (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that one single bout of IHG can result in an overall reduction in BP during daily activities. More research is needed to confirm these findings and to explain possible mechanisms responsible for these observed changes.


KEY WORDS: Blood pressure - Exercise - Post-exercise hypotension - Hypertension - Randomized controlled trial

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Publication History

Issue published online: February 21, 2017
Article first published online: March 31, 2016
Manuscript accepted: March 25, 2016
Manuscript revised: March 4, 2016
Manuscript received: October 23, 2015

Cite this article as

van Assche T, Buys R, de Jaeger M, Coeckelberghs E, Cornelissen VA. One single bout of low-intensity isometric handgrip exercise reduces blood pressure in healthy pre- and hypertensive individuals. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2017;57:469-75. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06239-3

Corresponding author e-mail

veronique.cornelissen@med.kuleuven.be