Controlled aerobic exercise training reduces resting blood pressure in sedentary older adults

Blood Press. 2013 Dec;22(6):386-94. doi: 10.3109/08037051.2013.778003. Epub 2013 Apr 3.


The results of existing controlled clinical trials were synthesized to determine effects of aerobic exercise training on resting systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) among previously sedentary older adults, to quantify the magnitude of observed changes, and to examine the influence of the associated interventional variables on these changes. Studies were identified via a systematic computer database search, hand searching, and cross-referencing of previously located articles. All potentially eligible articles were carefully reviewed and examined with the established inclusion criteria. Twenty-three studies, representing a total of 1226 older subjects, were included in the final analysis. Robust statistically significant effects were found in terms of the pooled standardized effect size of - 0.33 ± 0.06 (p < 0.0001) in SBP and - 0.39 ± 0.09 (p < 0.0001) in DBP. When compared with the control group, net decreases in both SBP (- 5.39 ± 1.21 mmHg, p < 0.0001) and DBP (-3.68 ± 0.83 mmHg, p < 0.0001) were observed in older exercisers, representing a 3.9% and a 4.5% reduction, respectively. This meta-analytic study provides robust quantitative data to support the efficacy and effectiveness of controlled endurance exercise training in decreasing resting SBP and DBP among previously sedentary older adults.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sedentary Behavior*