A comparison of cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory differences in highly active and sedentary young adults.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Arterial stiffness, blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness are all independent predictors of cardiovascular risk. The aim of this study is to identify the differential effects of exercise on health by comparing cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory function in highly active and sedentary young adults. 10 healthy participants were recruited, 5 who were highly active (>4 hrs/week) and 5 sedentary (0hrs/week). Radial artery applanation tonometry and a semi-automated oscillometric blood pressure monitor were used to measure arterial stiffness and blood pressure respectively. A VO2 max test was used to obtain the volume of oxygen consumed (ml) per Kg of body weight of each participants per minute of exercise, which then represented individual cardiorespiratory fitness. Primary findings were that VO2 max measurements were significantly and consistently higher in those highly active (51.4 ± 5.177ml/Kg/min) compared with those who were sedentary (40.4 ±.4.775ml/Kg/min) (p value <0.05). Both aortic augmentation and augmentation index as a measurement of arterial stiffness were also lower in the highly active group, on average - 9.87% AIx @HR75 compared with +1% average for sedentary subjects, also statistically significant (p <0.05). However, the highly active participants have elevated systolic blood pressure (134.4 ± 12.422) vs. (122.8 ± 13.141) mmHg, resulting in a greater pulse pressure, although this could be justified by physiological adaptations to training. Interestingly, there was no significant difference in diastolic blood pressure between the two groups, (p >0.05). Conclusion: Evidence suggests that a highly active lifestyle is more beneficial to health in comparison to a sedentary lifestyle, by preventing many factors associated with cardiovascular risk, although, sedentary lifestyles during early adulthood may not necessarily cause detrimental damage until later years.
BSc (Hons) Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition
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