A large-scale study has found that averaging a mere 1,000 extra steps per day over the course of a month can lead to a drop in blood pressure. The study also found that more frequent use of activity trackers was significantly correlated with lower blood pressure levels. Read on to learn more.At Withings, we believe that small changes can add up and lead to better long-term health. Now, a new study we conducted with the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in France (Inserm), backs this belief up in a profound way.
Activity up, blood pressure down
For the study, researchers collaborated with Inserm and analyzed a years’ worth of data from 19,000 adults in 150 countries who used Pulse activity trackers and Wireless Blood Pressure Monitors. The population in the study averaged 50 years of age and had an average body mass index of 28.9. For context, an adult with a BMI of 25 or above is considered overweight, and 30 or above is obese..
The findings show that even small lifestyle changes can nudge blood pressure numbers in the right direction for improved health. With one in three American adults living with high blood pressure, small steps would result in big health benefits for many people. Untreated hypertension can lead to a whole host of health-related problems over time including cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, and cognitive impairments. Even for people without high blood pressure, getting regular screenings, eating a healthful diet and making activity part of your daily routine are wise moves because blood pressure tends to creep up as people age.
More activity tracking, more success
The study found the higher number of steps a person took per day was linked to a lower systolic blood pressure in both men and women. There was also a clear connection with lower blood pressure among men and women who wore the tracker more days over the course of a month.
When researchers looked at the subjects over time, they found that people who increased their monthly steps by 30,000 – about 1,000 each day – experienced a drop in blood pressure. For men, the resulting drop in systolic blood pressure averaged 0.13 mmHg. For women, the drop was around 0.21 mmHg in systolic blood pressure.
This research highlights the health benefits that can result quickly from even small changes in activity levels and affirms the effectiveness of prescribing activity in tandem with other treatments to battle high blood pressure.
So, does the new data inspire you to get up from your desk or off the couch? Let us know.