A Single Bout of Arm-crank Exercise Promotes Positive Emotions and Post-Exercise Hypotension in Patients with Symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease

Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2017 Feb;53(2):223-228. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2016.11.021. Epub 2016 Dec 21.


Objective/background: The objective was to analyze the acute effects of a single bout of arm cranking exercise on affective and cardiovascular parameters in patients with symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Methods: This was a prospective, controlled, crossover study. Eleven men with symptomatic PAD underwent two experimental sessions in a random order: control or arm crank exercise (15 × 2 minutes bouts of arm crank exercise interrupted by 2 minutes rest intervals). During exercise, ratings of perceived exertion (Borg scale) and affective responses (pleasure/displeasure) were obtained at the first, fifth, tenth, and fifteenth bouts. Before and after the experimental sessions, cardiovascular parameters (blood pressure and heart rate) were obtained. Data were analysed by a two-way repeated measure analysis of variance with significance achieved at p < .05.

Results: During the arm crank exercise, patients reported positive feelings of pleasure. During exercise, heart rate (HR) remained within 80-90% of peak HR. Additionally, patients performed arm crank exercise with moderate levels of perceived exertion (Borg rating of 11-13) and with pleasant affective scores (Feeling Scale of +1 to +5). Blood pressure (systolic, diastolic, and mean) increase was lower after arm crank exercise than for control (greatest net effect: -15 ± 11 mmHg [p < .001]; -9 ± 5 mmHg [p < .001]; -9 ± 6 mmHg [p < .001], respectively), while HR increased (greatest net effect: +9 ± 6 beats per minute; p < .001).

Conclusion: A single bout of arm crank exercise promotes pleasurable feelings while reducing blood pressure in patients with symptomatic PAD.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Exercise; Peripheral arterial disease; Pleasure.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / diagnosis
  • Hypotension / etiology*
  • Hypotension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / physiopathology
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / psychology
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / therapy*
  • Pleasure*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Upper Extremity