Feasibility and Efficacy of Low-to-Moderate Intensity Aerobic Exercise Training in Reducing Resting Blood Pressure in Sedentary Older Saudis with Hypertension Living in Social Home Care: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Medicina (Kaunas). 2023 Jun 18;59(6):1171. doi: 10.3390/medicina59061171.


Background and Objectives: The effect of non-pharmacological aerobic exercise training on blood pressure in sedentary older individuals receiving social home care in Saudi Arabia has not been investigated. This study aimed to examine the effects of aerobic exercise on blood pressure in sedentary older Saudis with hypertension residing in these settings. Materials and Methods: A pilot randomized control trial was conducted with 27 sedentary individuals, aged 60-85, diagnosed with hypertension, and living in social home care in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Recruitment took place between November 2020 and January 2021, and participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The experimental group engaged in three 45 min sessions of low-to-moderate intensity aerobic activity per week for eight weeks. This trail was registered with the ISRCTN registry (ISRCTN50726324). Results: Following eight weeks of mild to moderate aerobic exercise training, the primary outcome of resting blood pressure showed a significant reduction in the experimental group (systolic blood pressure: mean difference [MD] = 2.91 mmHg, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.61, 4.21, p = 0.001; and diastolic blood pressure: MD = 1.33 mmHg, 95% CI = 1.16, 1.50, p = 0.001) compared to the control group. Within the experimental group, there was also a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure (MD = -2.75 mmHg, 95% CI = -7.73, 2.22, p = 0.005) and diastolic blood pressure (MD = -0.83 mmHg, 95% CI = -5.81, 4.14, p = 0.02). Conclusions: This trial demonstrates the feasibility and potential benefits of low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise training in reducing resting blood pressure among sedentary older Saudis with hypertension residing in this aged care setting.

Keywords: aerobic exercise; blood pressure; body fat; cholesterol; heart rate; hypertension; social home care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sedentary Behavior

Supplementary concepts

  • Saudi people

Grants and funding

The authors gratefully acknowledge the King Salman Center for Disability Research for funding this work through Research Group no KSRG-2023-317.