Walking could reduce blood pressure

Researchers in the United States (US) have found that people who walk more also have lower blood pressure. The researchers from the University of California in San Francisco in the US presented these findings at this year’s American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session, Together with World Congress of Cardiology in Chicago, Illinois.

The study found a link between how much a person walks each day and their blood pressure levels. This confirms existing notions that keeping active was good for cardiovascular health, the ‘Medical News Today’ reported. Abnormally high blood pressure, which is referred to as hypertension is common among adult population in Nigeria, and it is one of the main risk factors for more serious cardiovascular conditions and events, such as heart disease and stroke. Past research has shown that one way of preventing hypertension is through regular exercise, and now, a new study may add to the evidence that physical activity could help safeguard cardiovascular health.

The researchers looked at data collected from 638 participants enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study. These participants wore an Apple Watch every day, for at least five hours each time. The smart watch recorded the number of steps they took on a daily basis.

The volunteers also recorded their own blood pressure at home on a weekly basis for the duration of the study, which lasted about five months. Over the study period, the researchers noted that the participants’ average systolic blood pressure, which is the blood pressure when the heart contracts, was 122 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) while their average diastolic blood pressure, which is the blood pressure when the heart relaxes, was 76 mm Hg. Both of these measurements indicated normal to slightly elevated blood pressure, according to the latest guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (AHA).

The study researchers found that for every 1,000 steps a participant took per day, their systolic blood pressure was approximately 0.45 points lower, suggesting that a person who takes about 10,000 steps each day has a 2.25 points lower systolic blood pressure than someone who takes half that amount of steps. According to the report: “On average, over the fivemonth period, participants took about 7,500 steps a day.” Although the study was observational and did not aim to ascertain causal relationships, the investigators argued that it added to the evidence that regular physical activity could help protect cardiovascular health

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