Recently, a new study conducted by researchers from the University of California in San Francisco explores the association of blood pressure levels and walking and finds that the activity may be helpful specifically for people with hypertension.
Higher than normal blood pressure or hypertension affects more than half of the adults in the United States alone. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, around forty-five percent or one hundred and eight million Americans experience hypertension.
In addition, the statistics from 2017 showed that high blood pressure levels were the leading or the contributing cause in approximately half a million deaths in the country.
Furthermore, another worrying figure from the CDC shows that nearly thirty million people living with hypertension are either not prescribed appropriate medication for the management or simply do not take the medicine.
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According to health experts, such behaviors can be dangerous as it may lead to complications such as headaches, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, headache, and loss of consciousness.
Secondly, long-term negligence can also cause heart disease, heart attack, and even significantly increase the risk of death. However, there is ongoing research on the issue to help in finding alternative methods that can help with blood pressure problems.
Previously, researchers have identified a number of factors that can help people with blood pressure fluctuations. This includes engaging in relaxing activities such as reading books, doing yoga, and others.
The new research, whose findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology in Chicago, looks at the potential role walking can play.
To do so, the researchers examined data from six hundred and thirty-eight people who were also the participants of the Framingham Heart Study. These participants were asked to wear an apple watch every day in order to track the number of steps they took every day.
In addition, the participants were also asked to keep a watch on any changes in their blood pressure levels by checking their blood pressure at home every week for five months.
After checking at the recordings after the study period, the researchers noted that the average blood pressure of the participants was normal to a little higher.
It was discovered, after checking all the factors, that the systolic blood pressure of a person decreases by 0.45 points for every one thousand steps. This means that there is a 2.25 points decrease in people who take ten thousand steps.
The researchers of the study suggest that these findings add to the medical literature that focuses on the benefits of physical activity for controlling blood pressure levels and ultimately boosting heart health.
The leading author of the study, Dr. Mayank Sardana, comments on the findings, saying:
“Measuring habitual physical activity in community-based settings in this way distinguishes our study from prior studies that have looked at either self-reported physical activity or used accelerometers to measure daily activity for only a short amount of time, usually about a week,”
The findings adding to the emphasis on including physical activity to the daily routine. Doing so will not only help in controlling hypertension but also be beneficial for overall health.