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J Chiropr Med. 2007 Jun;6(2):56-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jcme.2007.04.002.

Effects of exercise and custom-made orthotics on blood pressure and heart rate variability: a randomized controlled pilot study.

Author information

  • Associate Director of Research, Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, MO 63017.



The objective of this study is to use randomized controlled research design to investigate the effect of an exercise program and custom-made flexible orthotics on heart rate variability and blood pressure at varying stages of exercise over a 5-month period.


Thirteen ping-pong players were recruited and randomly assigned into control and experimental groups. Both groups had the same exercise program, and only the experimental group wore custom-made flexible orthotics. Exercise effects were compared before and after the training using heart rate variability and blood pressure. The study lasted 5 months with 1 data collection per month except in the fourth month.


Ten male players (6 in the experimental group) completed the study. The average age of the participants was 44 +/- 16 years. The blood pressure in the experimental group significantly decreased after the 5-month study period and after each exercise session. The blood pressure did not change significantly after each exercise session in the control group. The heart rate was significantly increased immediately after exercise and remained at a higher level after the 20 minutes of rest at the end of each day's exercise session. The average resting heart rate decreased from 69.7 +/- 1.708 to 66.8 +/- 4.480 (P < .05) in the experimental group but increased from 69.7 +/- 1.708 to 90.7 +/- 2.808 (P > .05) in the control group. The total power reflecting the total autonomic activity was significantly decreased immediately after exercise and after the 20-minute rest period at the end of the exercise session in both the control and experimental groups.


There were positive changes in cardiac and vascular autonomic regulations with exercise training when combined with foot orthotics.

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