To Your Health
April, 2024 (Vol. 18, Issue 04)
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Sitting Time and BP

By Editorial Staff

Let's talk about BP – blood pressure – and how something as simple as sitting less can help reduce it. We'll use findings from a new study that evaluated sitting time and BP in a group at risk for high blood pressure: seniors ages 60-89 with high sitting time and a body-mass index of 30-50 (significantly overweight or obese in most cases).

Participants enrolled in the six-month study were encouraged to sit less via various interventions, including health coaching, sitting reduction goals, standing desks and fitness trackers. A control group also received health coaching, but only to set healthy-living goals, not specific physical activity / sitting reduction goals.

Sitting Time and BP - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Researchers assessed sitting time at baseline, three months and six months using participant accelerometers worn for seven days at each time point; and measured systolic / diastolic BP at baseline and after six months. Findings, published in JAMA Network Open, revealed that participants in the intervention group reduced average sitting time by more than 30 minutes per day, and systolic blood pressure (the top number in a BP reading) by nearly 3.5 mm Hg compared to the control group.

High blood pressure is no joke; it raises your risk of heart attack and stroke – two major life-threatening health events. While this study involved seniors, reducing sitting time is great advice for people of all ages to keep their BP in the optimal range. Talk to your doctor for additional information.