The Influence of Physical Activity, Mental Stress and Injury on the Hemostatic Mechanism

  • Derek Ogston


Platelet Numbers. Short periods of strenuous physical activity have been found by most investigators to increase the numbers of platelets in the peripheral blood (Sarajas et al., 1961; Ikkala et al., 1963; Finkel and Cumming, 1965; Dawson and Ogston, 1969; Bennett, 1972; Warlow and Ogston, 1974; Davis etal.,, 1976; Freedman etal., 1977). This finding, however, is not universal: no change in the platelet count in response to exercise was reported by Prentice and associates (1972) or by Hyers et al., (1980). Whether the platelet count alters during prolonged exercise is also controversial. Using a semi-quantitative technique for platelet enumeration Isaacs and Gordon (1924/25) noted a rise in platelet numbers in men competing in a marathon race. Mandalaki and colleagues (1980) also examined the effect of running a marathon on the platelet count: in a comparison between different years they found a significant increase in platelets when the race was on a day of extreme heat (25°C), but no change was found in the subjects taking part in the two years when the run was undertaken at temperatures of 15 to 18°C. This study demonstrates the possible importance of exogenous factors in the response of the platelet count to exercise and points to the need for considerable additional stress in prolonged exercise to induce a rise in the number of circulating platelets. Neither a 9.6 km-walk in 90 minutes (Bennett, 1972) nor a 10-mile march in 90 minutes (Sarajas et al., 1961) resulted in an increase in the platelet count, and a prolonged walk of 50 miles over 20 hours did not alter platelet numbers (Pegrum etal., 1967).


Factor VIII Platelet Function Mental Stress Platelet Adhesiveness Fibrinolytic Activity 
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© Derek Ogston 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Ogston
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AberdeenUK

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