MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael J. Wheeler
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: We conducted this study because separate lines of inquiry have determined that a bout of exercise can acutely lower blood pressure, and more recently that prolonged sitting can increase blood pressure over the space of a day. We wanted to know whether the blood pressure lowering effects of an exercise bout would be diminished by a subsequent period of prolonged sitting or enhanced by a subsequent period of sitting that is regularly interrupted with short walking breaks.
We found an additive blood pressure lowering effect when exercise was combined with breaks in sitting as opposed to exercise plus prolonged sitting. However, this was only true for women. Men had equal blood pressure lowering effects following exercise regardless of whether-or-not subsequent sitting was interrupted
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: We hope to highlight the idea that in the real world behaviours do not exist in isolation. We hope to see future studies considering the combined effects of behaviours to gain insight on their impact in society. Also, we hope that this line of inquiry may be useful in the future design of exercise interventions seeking to optimise blood pressure targets.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We would advise a morning routine that involves exercise based on these results. However, this does not mean that the morning is the best time to exercise. As many people find it difficult to exercise, the best time to do it is whenever it suits. What we have shown is that it is possible to gain additional benefits, in terms of blood pressure-reduction, by building more light-intensity activity into the day.
Although we saw no additional blood pressure lowering effect with the addition of breaks in sitting to a prior bout of exercise in men, it does not mean there was no effect of breaks in sitting on blood pressure. There could have been an effect that was masked by the preceding bout of exercise. Future studies will need to test for sex difference in the blood pressure response to breaks in sitting alone.
Effect of Morning Exercise With or Without Breaks in Prolonged Sitting on Blood Pressure in Older Overweight/Obese Adults Evidence for Sex Differences
Michael J. Wheeler, David W. Dunstan, Kathryn A. Ellis, Ester Cerin, Sarah Phillips, Gavin Lambert, Louise H. Naylor, Paddy C. Dempsey, Bronwyn A. Kingwell, Daniel J. Green
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