Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of walking on resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults.
Methods: A total of 24 primary outcomes from 16 studies and 650 subjects (410 exercise, 240 control) met the criteria for inclusion: (1) randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials, (2) walking as the only intervention, (3) subjects apparently sedentary, (4) adult humans > or =18 years of age, (5) English-language studies published between January 1966 and December 1998, (6) resting blood pressure assessed, (7) training studies > or =4 weeks.
Results: Using a random effects model, statistically significant decreases of approximately 2% were found for both resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure (systolic, mean +/- SEM = -3 +/- 1 mm Hg, 95% confidence interval: -5 to -2 mm Hg; diastolic, mean +/- SEM = -2 +/- 1 mm Hg, 95% confidence interval: -3 to -1 mm Hg).
Conclusion: Walking exercise programs reduce resting blood pressure in adults.
Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.