Fourteen healthy young men were exposed to progressive increases in lower body positive pressure (LBPP) from 0 to 40 Torr in the supine position. Central venous pressure (CVP) increased 1.09 mmHg (P < 0.05) at 5 Torr LBPP. Between 20 and 40 Torr LBPP CVP increased 0.85 mmHg, resulting in a total increase of 2.06 mmHg (P < 0.05). During 0-20 Torr LBPP mean arterial pressure (MAP) increased from 86 to 89 mmHg with a slope of 0.15 mmHg/Torr LBPP. Stroke volume and cardiac output were significantly increased at 20 Torr LBPP. Beyond 20 Torr LBPP, MAP increased to 95 mmHg at 40 Torr (P < 0.05) with a slope of 0.32 mmHg/Torr LBPP. Forearm blood flow increased above rest at 40 Torr LBPP (P < 0.05). However, neither peripheral nor forearm vascular resistance decreased significantly from rest. Despite the significant increases in MAP, heart rate was unchanged above 20 Torr LBPP. These data suggest that LBPP produces increases in CVP at 0-20 Torr by translocation of blood volume from the legs to the thorax. At LBPP > 20 Torr, further increases in CVP and MAP were produced by other mechanisms possibly related to an activation of intramuscular pressure-sensitive receptors.