Number of steps and systolic blood pressure: Do work and leisure matter?

Patrick Crowley*, Nidhi Gupta, Nicolas Vuillerme, Pascal Madeleine, Andreas Holtermann

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The number of steps per day influences blood pressure and health. However, the association between steps at work and leisure and blood pressure is unknown. Thus, we aimed to investigate the association between the domain-specific number of steps and systolic blood pressure. A thigh-worn accelerometer was used to measure the steps of 694 workers over 1–5 consecutive days, separated into work and leisure domains using a self-reported diary. We linearly regressed steps at work, leisure and total day against systolic blood pressure, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, and antihypertensive medication. Additionally, we stratified the analyses on job type (blue-collar or white-collar). The results of this cross-sectional analysis indicated a beneficial association between the number of steps (per 2000-step interval) and systolic blood pressure for the total day (−0.5 mmHg; −1.0 to −0.8, 95% CI, p < 0.05) and work (−0.9 mmHg; −1.5 to −0.4, 95% CI, p < 0.05), but not for leisure (+0.1 mmHg; −0.7 to 0.9, 95% CI, p = 0.75). Blue-collar workers took almost twice as many steps at work (9143 ± SD3837) as white-collar workers (5863 ± SD3565) and, after stratification on job type, we observed a beneficial association between the number of steps at work and systolic blood pressure among blue-collar workers (−1.1 mmHg; −1.7 to −0.4, 95% CI, p < 0.05), but not for white-collar workers (−0.3 mmHg; −1.7 to 1.1, 95% CI, p = 0.7). These findings indicate that the number of steps at work, particularly among blue-collar workers, is beneficially associated with systolic blood pressure. Such findings support the potential of work (re)design to promote walking to improve blood pressure.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Udgave nummer10
Sider (fra-til)1962-1970
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the workers, researchers, and staff involved in the Danish Physical ACTivity cohort with Objective measurements. Without your work, this analysis would not be possible. Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge the work of Jørgen Skotte on the Acti4 software used for this analysis and the work of Charlotte Lund Rasmussen in getting access to and collating the data. This work was supported by the Danish Working Environment Research Fund (grant number: 20175100210).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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