Current Hypertension Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 659–668 | Cite as

Physical Activity and the Prevention of Hypertension

  • Keith M. Diaz
  • Daichi Shimbo
Prevention of Hypertension: Public Health Challenges (P Muntner, Section Editor)


As the worldwide prevalence of hypertension continues to increase, the primary prevention of hypertension has become an important global public health initiative. Physical activity is commonly recommended as an important lifestyle modification that may aid in the prevention of hypertension. Recent epidemiologic evidence has demonstrated a consistent, temporal, and dose-dependent relationship between physical activity and the development of hypertension. Experimental evidence from interventional studies has further confirmed a relationship between physical activity and hypertension as the favorable effects of exercise on blood pressure reduction have been well characterized in recent years. Despite the available evidence strongly supporting a role for physical activity in the prevention of hypertension, many unanswered questions regarding the protective benefits of physical activity in high-risk individuals, the factors that may moderate the relationship between physical activity and hypertension, and the optimal prescription for hypertension prevention remain. We review the most recent evidence for the role of physical activity in the prevention of hypertension and discuss recent studies that have sought to address these unanswered questions.


Physical activity Exercise Hypertension Prevention Blood pressure Resistance training Endurance training 



This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Diversity Supplement awarded to Keith M. Diaz (P01-HL047540-19S1).

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Keith M. Diaz declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Daichi Shimbo has received grants from NIH.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, Department of MedicineColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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