Other studies have attempted to measure the effect of distance on blood pressure response in order to find if there is any correlation between distance and a significant blood pressure reduction. One of these studies (see Moreau et al, 2001) involved 24 sedentary post-menopausal American women (15 in the intervention group ) with high blood pressure. The results found that, after a 2-year walking programme, that there was a statistically significant drop of 13 mmHg in the systolic blood pressure of those participants who were taking anti-hypertensive drugs and of 11 mmHg in those not receiving medication, whereas there was no difference found in their diastolic blood pressure and in the blood pressure of the control group. The participants in the intervention group were instructed to walk 3 kms per day in addition to their normal daily physical activity. After the first year the reduction in blood pressure was significant: 6 mm Hg in the systolic blood pressure of the participants who were taking anti-hypertensive medication and 7mmHg in the non-medication group.
In this study , the magnitude of the reduction of systolic blood pressure as a result of a walking programme is similar to that which has been found in earlier studies in response to traditional exercise (see Seals et al,1997, and Hagberg et al, 2000).
Several studies have examined the impact of the frequency of walking per week on blood pressure in order to determine what frequency is most effective in terms of blood pressure reduction response.
A study by Gettman et al, conducted in 1976, which compared the effect of fast walking between one, three and five days per week on blood pressure response, found that the difference in frequency was not statistically significant in terms of blood pressure response. However, in contrast, a study by Tully et al (2007) found that walking five days per week had a greater effect on decreasing blood pressure than walking three times per week. They examined the effect of 30 minutes walking on two groups of individuals, one of which walked for three days per week while the other group walked for five days per week. There was a significant decrease in both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of those in the group which walked for five days per week (of -6 mmHg and -3.4 mmHg respectively), but the results of the group who walked for only three days a week showed that, while there was a drop in their systolic blood pressure, there was no change in their diastolic. Thus, in this study Tully et al examined the effect of a walking programme set at the level of the current recommendation (i.e. for sedentary individuals to walk for at least...