Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Europhysiology 2018 (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 41, PCA149

Poster Communications

Acute effect of isometric handgrip exercise on arterial stiffness in older adults

S. -. NAKMAREONG1, M. Thasomboon1, B. Sangjan1, C. Prarat1, K. Apaijit2, U. Kukongviriyapan3

1. School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand. 2. Faculty of Medicine, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand. 3. Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


Arterial stiffness is a major contributor to the development of atherosclerosis and consequently cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown a positive correlation between advancing age and arterial stiffness. Isometric handgrip exercise is a simple form of exercise, which recognized as antihypertensive effect. However, the effect of a single bout of isometric handgrip exercise on arterial stiffness remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in acute arterial stiffness and post-exercise hypotension following a single bout of isometric handgrip exercise in older adults. Thirty healthy elderly (5 men, 25 women; age 60-80 years) were randomly allocated to either isometric exercise group (age 69.4 ± 7.4 years, body mass index 22.0 ± 1.9 kg/m2, n=15) or control group (age 69.7 ± 5.2 years, body mass index 22.5 ± 1.5 kg/m2, n= 15). Participants in isometric exercise group performed sustained isometric handgrip exercise at intensity of 30% of maximal contraction (Handgrip dynamometer; T.K.K.5001 grip A, Japan) by holding 2 minutes with 1 minute rest for 4 times (Millar et al., 2014), whereas subjects in the control group were asked to hold handgrip without exercise. Eligible participants were familiarized to all testing protocols and equipments. Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was measured at baseline and after the exercise using Arterial Compliance Monitor (Barts and The London's School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK) (Phababpha el al., 2013). Resting blood pressure was measured using a calibrated Blood Pressure Bedside Monitor. This study protocol was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee, Khon Kaen University (No. HE602295). Values are reported as means ± S.D., compared by paired t-test and t-test. All baseline characteristics were no significant differences (P > 0.05). Following acute isometric handgrip exercise, showed a significant reduction of 16.5 ± 8.6% in mean baPWV when compared with baseline value. In addition, single bout of isometric handgrip exercise significantly decreased baPWV compared with control group (1040.5 ± 96.3 cm/sec vs. 1263.1 ± 115.4 cm/sec, P < 0.05). Concomitant significant alleviated of systolic blood pressure in exercise group (from 119.4 ± 10.3 mmHg to 108.6 ± 6.8 mmHg, P <0.05). However, diastolic blood pressure remained unchanged in either exercise (from 68.3 ± 5.3 mmHg to 68.5 ± 4.4 mmHg) or control group (from 68.8 ± 6.1 mmHg to 67.2 ± 6.6 mmHg). In conclusion, the acute effect of isometric handgrip exercise alleviates arterial stiffness, resulting in reduced resting blood pressure. Therefore, the finding of this study might be used as a preliminary data for setting the exercise protocol among older adults.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements