Exercising in free time could lower risk of high blood pressure

30 September 2013        

Women jogging

Physical activity during your spare time could help keep blood pressure at a healthy level, an analysis of research concludes.

Researchers pooled results from 13 studies and found that people who exercised for more than four hours a week had a 19 percent lower risk of high blood pressure, compared to those who spent less than one hour a week exercising.

Physical activity as part of work, such as farm or industrial work, did not have the same beneficial effect on blood pressure.

Doireann Maddock, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The benefits of physical activity on heart health are already well known and this study goes a long way to reinforcing that evidence.

“Current guidelines recommend that adults do at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity activity each week. You could aim for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days a week, but even ten minutes here or there will count.

“Keeping active doesn’t necessarily have to mean joining a gym either. A brisk lunchtime walk with a friend or getting off the bus a few stops earlier can make a difference, too.”

The study was published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.