Physical activity (PA) has been associated with reduced blood pressure in observational epidemiologic studies and individual clinical trials. Since PA is considered as a key component for the prevention and treatment of hypertension in children and adolescents, the purpose of this study was to assess blood pressure changes in athletic and non-athletic students before, during and after PA.
The subjects in this experimental study consisted of 60 female athletic (n = 30) and non-athletic students (n = 30) with an average age of 21-23 years. The athletes were physical education students and non-athletes were medical students. Blood pressure (BP) at the right arm was measured in sitting position at 5 minutes before, 6 minutes after starting PA and 5 minutes after the end of the exercise. Weight, height, body mass index (BMI), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP) were measured by ordinary methods. Data was analyzed using student's t- test. Results were expressed as mean ± SD. The statistical difference was considered significant at P < 0.05.
The results showed that while systolic BP (SBP) increased during and 5 minutes after the end of physical exercise in both groups, diastolic BP (DBP) decreased. However, SBP values were significantly lower in non-athletic female students compared to the athletes. On the other hand, DBP values were significantly lower in athletic female students compared to non-athletes. Moreover, heart rate values were significantly lower at rest, during and 5 minutes after the end of physical exercise in athlete female students compared to non-athletes.
Our results revealed that physical activity reduced arterial BP levels in female athlete students.