WASHINGTON — With many people stuck at home during the coronavirus quarantine, it can be hard to get in your daily exercise. A new study says, no matter how you do it, getting in your daily steps can keep your heart healthy.
Researchers tracking over 600 smart watch users found that a higher daily step count is linked to a lower average blood pressure. The study is part of the Framingham Heart Study, which has been researching factors of heart disease for more than 70 years.
The participants were asked to wear an Apple Watch and record their blood pressure weekly for several months. It’s one of the first studies to use wearable devices available in stores to track fitness outside of a lab.
“Measuring habitual physical activity in community-based settings in this way distinguishes our study from prior studies,” the study’s lead author Mayank Sardana said in a statement.
10,000 Steps A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Sardana says a person’s systolic blood pressure dropped by 0.45 points for every 1,000 steps the smart watch users took each day. Using that math, a person taking 10,000 steps a day lowered their blood pressure by over four points.
Researchers say the average systolic blood pressure of everyone involved in the study was 122, which is just above what health experts consider normal (120 and under). Sardana believes those 10,000 steps could mean the difference between normal and high blood pressure.
“This study solidifies our understanding of the relationship between physical activity and blood pressure and raises the possibility that obesity or body mass index accounts for a lot of that relationship,” Sardana explained.
The study adds that nearly half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure and many don’t know it. Researchers say their results should help promote how smart devices can encourage more physical activity.
The study was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).