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Eur J Sport Sci. 2017 Jun;17(5):586-592. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2017.1284267. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

Evaluation of a static stretching intervention on vascular endothelial function and arterial stiffness.

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a Department of Health Science , Graduate School of Medicine, Kansai Medical University , Osaka , Japan.
b Department of Health Science , Kansai Medical University , Osaka , Japan.
c Health Science Center , Kansai Medical University , Osaka , Japan.



Maintenance and enhancement of vascular endothelial function contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and prolong a healthy life expectancy. Given the reversible nature of vascular endothelial function, interventions to improve this function might prevent arteriosclerosis. Accordingly, we studied the effects of a 6-month static stretching intervention on vascular endothelial function (reactive hyperaemia peripheral arterial tonometry index: RH-PAT index) and arterial stiffness (brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity: baPWV) and investigated the reversibility of these effects after a 6-month detraining period following intervention completion.


The study evaluated 22 healthy, non-smoking, premenopausal women aged ≥40 years. Subjects were randomly assigned to the full-intervention (n = 11; mean age: 48.6 ± 2.8 years) or a half-intervention that included a control period (n = 11; mean age: 46.9 ± 3.6 years).


Body flexibility and vascular endothelial function improved significantly after 3 months of static stretching. In addition to these improvements, arterial stiffness improved significantly after a 6-month intervention. However, after a 6-month detraining period, vascular endothelial function, flexibility, and arterial stiffness all returned to preintervention conditions, demonstrating the reversibility of the obtained effects.


A 3-month static stretching intervention was found to improve vascular endothelial function, and an additional 3-month intervention also improved arterial stiffness. However, these effects were reversed by detraining.


Endothelial function; arterial stiffness; flexibility; static stretching

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