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Health Psychol. 2000 Jan;19(1):46-54.

Task demands and the pressures of everyday life: associations between cardiovascular reactivity and work blood pressure and heart rate.

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Department of Psychology, St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, England.


Associations between cardiovascular stress reactivity and blood pressure and heart rate recorded in everyday life were hypothesized to depend on the stressfulness of the ambulatory monitoring period relative to standardized tasks and on activity levels at the time of measurement. One hundred two female and 60 male school teachers carried out high- and low-demand tasks under standardized conditions and ambulatory monitoring during the working day. Stress ratings during the day were close to those recorded during the low-demand task. Reactions to the low-demand task were significant predictors of ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate independent of baseline, age, gender, and body mass. Associations were more consistent for ambulatory recordings taken when participants were seated than when they were standing and when the ambulatory monitoring day was considered to be as stressful as usual or more stressful than usual, and not less stressful than usual. Laboratory-field associations of cardiovascular activity depend in part on the congruence of stressfulness and physical activity level in the 2 situations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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