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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Volume31
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1962-1970
ISSN0905-7188
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • accelerometer
  • domain
  • gait
  • health
  • occupation

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