BACKGROUND: Both aerobic fitness and physical activity levels are protective against cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to determine if the association between resting blood pressure and activity levels varied as a function of aerobic fitness status. METHODS: Forty healthy young men (n = 20, 24 ± 5 yrs, 27 ± 4 kg/m2) and women (n = 20, 22 ± 3 yrs, 26 ± 4 kg/m2) participated in the study. Physical activity was quantified via wrist actigraphy for seven consecutive days. Relative proportions of sedentary time, low intensity physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) were recorded for analysis. Following the observation period, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures were obtained in the laboratory in accordance with standardized procedures. Subsequently, peak oxygen uptake was obtained via a graded maximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer. Participants were then categorized as “low fit” or “high fit" based on median split. An equal number of men and women comprised each group. RESULTS: Maximal oxygen uptake was higher in the high fit (38.8 ± 7.2 ml∙kg∙min-1) versus low fit (29.9 ± 6.6 ml∙kg∙min-1) group (P <0.05). In addition, systolic (121.4 ± 13.5 vs. 131 ± 10.9 mmHg) and diastolic (67.7 ± 6.6 vs. 73.8 ± 8.7 mmHg) blood pressures were lower for the high fit versus low fit groups (P <0.05). Nevertheless, no differences (Ps >0.05) were observed between groups for sedentary time (62 ± 8 vs. 66 ± 9%), LPA (9 ± 1 vs. 9 ± 1%), or MVPA (12 ± 2 vs. 11 ± 2%). Moreover, systolic blood pressure was associated with sedentary time (r = 0.45, P <0.05) and MVPA (r = -0.48, P <0.05), and diastolic blood pressure was associated with MVPA (r = -0.46, P <0.05) in the low fit group, whereas no associations were observed for the high fit group. CONCLUSIONS: Being less sedentary and performing more MVPA had favorable effects on blood pressure in participants with lower aerobic fitness. Lack of associations in the high fit group suggest that activity levels may be less important for lowering blood pressure among individuals with greater aerobic fitness. FUNDING: Supported by Georgia Southern University Faculty Research Committee Research Seed Funding Award.

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