Does Aerobic Exercise Increase 24-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Among Workers With High Occupational Physical Activity?—A RCT

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High occupational physical activity (OPA) increases cardiovascular risk and aerobic exercise has been recommended for reducing this risk. This paper investigates the effects of an aerobic exercise intervention on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) among cleaners with high OPA.


Hundred and sixteen cleaners between 18 and 65 years were randomized. During the 4-month intervention period, the aerobic exercise group (AE) (n = 57) performed worksite aerobic exercise (2 × 30 minutes/week), while the reference group (REF) (n = 59) attended lectures. Between-group differences in 4-month ABP changes were evaluated by intention-to-treat analysis using a repeated-measure 2 × 2 multiadjusted mixed-models design.


Relative to REF, 24-hour ABP significantly increased in AE: systolic 3.6 mm Hg (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6-5.7) and diastolic 2.3 mm Hg (95% CI 0.9-3.8). Cleaners with high aerobic workload exhibited particularly high 24-hour ABP increases: systolic 6.0 mm Hg (95% CI 2.4-9.6), and diastolic 3.8 mm Hg (95% CI 1.3-6.4).


Aerobic exercise increased 24-hour ABP among cleaners. This adverse effect raises questions about the safety and intended benefits of aerobic exercise, especially among workers with high OPA and a demanding aerobic workload.

CONCLUSION Unique identifier ISRCTN86682076.


Trial Number ISRCTN86682076.

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