Accumulated brisk walking reduces arterial stiffness in overweight adults: evidence from a randomized control trial

J Am Soc Hypertens. 2014 Feb;8(2):117-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 6.


Arterial stiffness is a major contributor to the development of atherosclerosis and consequently cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to examine whether 6 months of accumulated (3 × 10 minutes, 5 days/week) brisk walking was sufficient to reduce arterial stiffness in sedentary, overweight individuals. Seventy-seven individuals (19 men, 58 women; age, 30-55 years) were randomly allocated to one of three groups; two groups completed 30 minutes of accumulated walking with either monthly or weekly telephone support; the third group (control) performed stretching exercises. The walking groups were combined and telephone support included as a covariate. Anthropometry, blood pressure (BP), blood lipids, pulse wave velocity (PWV), and NOx (surrogate marker for nitric oxide) were measured at baseline, post-intervention and 4 months post-intervention. No changes were observed for anthropometry, BP, or lipids. However, at the end of the intervention, there was a decrease in PWV (P < .001) accompanied by an increase in NOx (P < .001), with changes maintained 4 months post-intervention. A strong negative correlation between PWV and NOx was also observed (P < .001; r = -0.65). A lifestyle approach to meeting current physical activity guidelines results in favorable alterations in arterial function in overweight individuals.

Keywords: Pulse wave velocity; exercise; moderate activity; nitric oxide.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry / methods
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Nitric Oxide / blood
  • Overweight* / diagnosis
  • Overweight* / metabolism
  • Overweight* / physiopathology
  • Overweight* / psychology
  • Overweight* / therapy
  • Pulse Wave Analysis / methods
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Stiffness*


  • Nitric Oxide