Resting blood pressure values of adult athletes

Kidney Blood Press Res. 2011;34(6):387-95. doi: 10.1159/000327850. Epub 2011 Jun 11.


Background: Regular physical activity has a favorable effect upon the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Various movements in sports, however, affect blood pressure (BP) differently.

Methods: In the present study, the resting BP data of a large number (3,697) of young men and women (age: 19-40 years) who participated in sports medical examinations were compared according to their sport. Athletes were arranged into definite subgroups based on their different sport activities, i.e. if their movement pattern characteristics were similar and no significant intergroup differences were seen in BP values.

Results: BP values were lower in the dynamic type athletes (speed, endurance sports and ball games) than in the static type. Out of the endurance athletes, BP values were not lower in cycle racers, kayakers/canoeists and rowers. In water athletes, BP values were higher than in corresponding dry-land athletes. There was a quite large significant difference between the BP values of athletes involved in static muscular activity (power athletes) and dynamic-type strength athletes (combat competitors).

Conclusions: Although cycling, kayaking/canoeing and competitive water sports increase BP, as leisure time activities they more than likely do not elevate BP.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Sports Medicine / methods*
  • Young Adult