Exercise and sport science australia position stand update on exercise and hypertension

Abstract

Hypertension is the most common circulatory system condition, accounting for >40% of the cardiovascular disease total burden. One-third of Australians aged over 18 years have hypertension and in 68% of these it is uncontrolled. Australian data show hypertension accounts for 6% of general practitioner (GP) consults. Recent evidence has confirmed exercise is an effective adjunct therapy for hypertension management and the objective of this document is to provide a contemporary, evidence-based guide for optimal delivery of an exercise programme for blood pressure management. This work is an update to the 2009 Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) position stand. In most cases, the first line treatment to reduce BP is initiation of lifestyle changes, of which regular aerobic exercise is a principal component. Aerobic and resistance activities remain the cornerstone of exercise-based management of blood pressure, but recent work has uncovered variations on traditional delivery of exercise, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT) and a new exercise modality, isometric resistance training (IRT) may offer alternative management regimens. Exercise Physiologists, as well as other health care professionals, play an important role in helping to achieve BP control in patients with hypertension by reinforcing healthy lifestyle habits and prescribing appropriate exercise.

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Correspondence to Neil A. Smart.

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NB: This is an update to the 2009 Position Stand originally published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (2009) 12, 252–257

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Sharman, J.E., Smart, N.A., Coombes, J.S. et al. Exercise and sport science australia position stand update on exercise and hypertension. J Hum Hypertens 33, 837–843 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41371-019-0266-z

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