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Effect of isometric exercise on resting blood pressure: a meta analysis


Dynamic physical exercise (walking, swimming, and so on) is an important component of lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure; however, many individuals are unwilling or unable to adopt this lifestyle change. Isometric exercise has not traditionally been recommended as an alternative to dynamic exercise and has not been well studied. A meta-analysis of controlled trials of isometric exercise on resting blood pressure was therefore undertaken. Five trials were identified including a total of 122 subjects. Isometric exercise for <1 h per week reduced systolic blood pressure by 10.4 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 6.7 mm Hg. These changes are similar to those achieved with a single pharmacological agent. These results suggest that isometric exercise may be of value as part of lifestyle advice in maintaining a desirable blood pressure.

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Correspondence to A Owen.

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Owen, A., Wiles, J. & Swaine, I. Effect of isometric exercise on resting blood pressure: a meta analysis. J Hum Hypertens 24, 796–800 (2010).

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  • isometric exercise
  • meta-analysis
  • blood pressure
  • lifestyle

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