Effects of reduced sedentary time on resting, exercise and post-exercise blood pressure in inactive adults with metabolic syndrome - a six-month exploratory RCT

J Hum Hypertens. 2024 Jan 24. doi: 10.1038/s41371-024-00894-6. Online ahead of print.


Evidence on the long-term effects of reducing sedentary behaviour (SB) on blood pressure (BP) is scarce. Therefore, we performed a sub-analysis of the BP effects of a six-month intervention that aimed at reducing SB by 1 h/day and replacing it with non-exercise activities. Sixty-four physically inactive and sedentary adults with metabolic syndrome (58% female, 58 [SD 7] years, BP 143/88 [16/9] mmHg, SB 10 [1] h/day) were randomised into intervention (INT, n = 33) and control (CON, n = 31) groups. Resting BP and BP at each stage during and after a graded maximal bicycle ergometer test were measured before and after the intervention. SB, standing, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and light physical activity (LPA) were measured in six-second intervals at baseline and during the whole six-month intervention using hip-worn accelerometers. The analyses were adjusted for BP medication status. The intervention resulted in a 40 min/day reduction in SB and concomitant 20 min/day increase in MVPA. Resting systolic BP was lower in the CON group before and after the intervention. No group x time interactions were observed in resting BP or BP during exercise at submaximal or maximal intensities, or during recovery. The changes in LPA and MVPA were inversely correlated with the changes in BP during light-to-moderate intensity exercise. An intervention that resulted in a 40 min/day reduction in SB for six months was not sufficient at influencing BP at rest, during or after exercise in adults with metabolic syndrome. However, successfully increasing LPA or MVPA might lower BP during light-to-moderate-intensity activities.