Recreational beach tennis reduces 24-h blood pressure in adults with hypertension: a randomized crossover trial

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2021 May;121(5):1327-1336. doi: 10.1007/s00421-021-04617-4. Epub 2021 Feb 15.


Purpose: To evaluate the effect of a beach tennis session on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure in adults with hypertension.

Methods: In this randomized crossover trial, 24 participants (12 men and 12 women) randomly performed two experimental sessions: a beach tennis session and a non-exercise control session. The beach tennis session started with a standardized 5-min warm-up consisting of basic techniques, followed by three 12-min beach tennis matches with 2-min intervals between them. Heart rate was continuously recorded and rating of perceived exertion was assessed in the middle and at the end of each set during the beach tennis session. Enjoyment was also assessed after the beach tennis session. The control session was performed in seated rest. Both experimental sessions lasted 45 min. Ambulatory blood pressure was measured continuously for 24 h after sessions.

Results: Systolic blood pressure (24-h: 6 mmHg, P = 0.008; daytime: 6 mmHg, P = 0.031; nighttime: 6 mmHg, P = 0.042) and diastolic blood pressure (24-h: 3 mmHg, P = 0.021; daytime: 3 mmHg, P = 0.036; nighttime: 4 mmHg, P = 0.076) decreased after beach tennis when compared with control. The participants presented a reserve heart rate of 59-68%, and a rating of perceived exertion score of 3.4-4.7 using Borg's CR10 Scale. The enjoyment scores after beach tennis session were higher than 90%.

Conclusion: A single session of recreational beach tennis reduces 24-h ambulatory blood pressure in adults with hypertension. Additionally, the participants can achieve a high physiological stress but perceive less effort during the practice.

Trial registration: Date: April 10, 2019; identifier number NCT03909308 (

Keywords: Cardiovascular system; Exercise; Post-exercise hypotension; Racket sports; Sand sports.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tennis / physiology*

Associated data