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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Dec;44(12):2270-6. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182663117.

Effects of fractionized and continuous exercise on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure.

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  • 1School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ 85004-0698, USA.



The objective of this study is to compare the effects of fractionized aerobic exercise (three 10-min exercise sessions) and continuous exercise (one 30-min exercise session) on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (ABP).


Eleven healthy prehypertensive subjects (28.3 ± 8.0 (SD) yr) completed three randomly assigned conditions: 1) three 10-min sessions of aerobic exercise (3 × 10 min), 2) one continuous 30-min session of aerobic exercise (1 × 30 min), and 3) a nonexercise control trial (control). The mode of exercise was walking on a motor-driven treadmill at 75%-79% of maximum heart rate (HRmax) (60%-65% V˙O2peak). Twenty-four-hour ABP was monitored with an automated ABP device (Oscar 2™; SunTech Medical, Morrisville, NC). Linear mixed models were used to compare 24-h ABP responses between trials.


The mean ± SD 24-h systolic blood pressure (SBP) was significantly lower during the 3 × 10-min trial (127 ± 15 mm Hg) compared with control (130 ± 15 mm Hg) (P < 0.001). Although both 3 × 10-min and 1 × 30-min trials reduced SBP compared with control during daytime/evening (1300-2300 h), only the 3 × 10-min trial reduced SBP during nighttime (2300-0800 h, 118 ± 16 vs 122 ± 14 mm Hg, P = 0.024) and the following morning (0800-1200 h, 127 ± 15 vs 131 ± 15 mm Hg, P = 0.016). For 24 h, 26.7% of SBP values during 3 × 10 min were normal (i.e., <120 mm Hg) compared with 18.3% for 1 × 30 min and 19.4% for control (P < 0.001).


In prehypertensive individuals, fractionized exercise (e.g., three 10-min aerobic exercise sessions spread and effective exercise alternative to continuous exercise for cardiovascular risk reduction in this population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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