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Am J Hypertens. 2013 Aug;26(8):1017-23. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpt053. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Self-reported sitting time is associated with higher pressure from wave reflections independent of physical activity levels in healthy young adults.

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Department of Exercise Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA.



Time spent in sedentary pursuits such as sitting (SIT) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease independent of physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of PA and SIT with central hemodynamic burden in young adults.


Aortic pressure waveforms were obtained using radial applanation tonometry and a generalized transfer function in 70 young healthy men (n = 41) and women (n = 29) (mean age = 23±1 years; body mass index = 24±1kg/m(2)). A wave separation technique that uses a physiologic pseudoaortic flow waveform was used to derive incident/forward wave pressure (Pf) and reflected/backward wave pressure (Pb). Levels of PA (metabolic equivalent, minutes per week) and SIT (sitting time per day) were obtained by self-report using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire.


A negative correlation existed between PA and Pf (r = -0.30; P < 0.05) and Pb (r = -0.36; P < 0.05). A positive correlation existed between SIT and Pf (r = 0.39; P < 0.05) and Pb (r = 0.44; P < 0.05). According to results from multiple regression, after adjusting for potential confounders (age, sex, height, heart rate, mean pressure) and PA, associations between SIT and Pf (P < 0.05) and SIT and Pb (P < 0.05) remained.


SIT is associated with higher forward wave pressure and backward wave pressure, 2 novel hemodynamic correlates of cardiovascular disease risk and target organ damage, in young apparently healthy men and women. This association is independent of PA.


blood pressure; hypertension; physical activity; sitting time; wave reflection.

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