High occupational physical activity (OPA) is shown to increase the risk for elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and mortality. Conversely, aerobic exercise acutely lowers the blood pressure up to 25 h post exercise. However, it is unknown if this beneficial effect also apply for workers exposed to high levels of OPA. Cleaners constitute a relevant occupational group for this investigation because of a high prevalence of OPA and cardiovascular disease. Accordingly, the objective was to investigate the acute effects on ambulatory blood pressure from a single aerobic exercise session among female cleaners.
Twenty-two female cleaners were randomised to a cross-over study with a reference and an aerobic exercise session. Differences in 24-h, work hours, leisure time, and sleep ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) were evaluated using repeated measure 2 × 2 mixed-models.
After the aerobic exercise session, the 24-h systolic ambulatory blood pressure was significantly lowered by 2.4 mmHg (p < 0.01) compared to the reference session. The 24-h diastolic ABP was unaltered. During work hours, a lowered systolic ABP of 2.2 mmHg (p = 0.02) and a higher diastolic ABP of 1.5 mmHg (p = 0.03) were found after the aerobic exercise session. During leisure time, the systolic ABP was lowered by 1.7 mmHg (p = 0.04) and the diastolic ABP was unaltered. During sleep, the systolic and diastolic ABP was unaltered.
A single aerobic exercise session lowered 24-h systolic ABP of 2.4 mmHg. Thus, an aerobic exercise session seems to be beneficial for lowering the risk of hypertension among cleaners.