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Hypertension. 2010 Sep;56(3):540-6. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.156331. Epub 2010 Jul 6.

Longer time spent in light physical activity is associated with reduced arterial stiffness in older adults.

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1
National Institute of Health and Nutrition, 1-23-1 Toyama, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 162-8636, Japan.

Abstract

Habitual moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity attenuates arterial stiffening. However, it is unclear whether light physical activity also attenuates arterial stiffening. It is also unclear whether light physical activity has the same effects in fit and unfit individuals. This cross-sectional study was performed to determine the relationships between amount of light physical activity determined with a triaxial accelerometer and arterial stiffness. A total of 538 healthy men and women participated in this study. Subjects in each age category were divided into either high-light or low-light physical activity groups based on daily time spent in light physical activity. Arterial stiffness was measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. Two-way ANOVA indicated a significant interaction between age and time spent in light physical activity in determining carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (P<0.05). In the older group, carotid femoral pulse wave velocity was higher in the low-light physical activity level group than in the high-light physical activity level group (945+/-19 versus 882+/-16 cm/s; P<0.01). The difference remained significant after normalizing carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity for amounts of moderate and vigorous physical activity. The carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (r=-0.47; P<0.01) was correlated with daily time spent in light physical activity in older unfit subjects. No relationship was observed in older fit subjects. These results suggested that longer time spent in light physical activity is associated with attenuation of arterial stiffening, especially in unfit older people.

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