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Article

Eight Weeks of Supervised Indoor Climbing Significantly Reduces Arterial Pressure and Total Cholesterol in Recreational Climbers

1School of Health and Sports Sciences, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, United Kingdom


Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2020, Vol. 5 No. 2, 79-84
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-5-2-3
Copyright © 2020 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Jane M. Black, Natasha Chenery, Gavin Devereux. Eight Weeks of Supervised Indoor Climbing Significantly Reduces Arterial Pressure and Total Cholesterol in Recreational Climbers. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2020; 5(2):79-84. doi: 10.12691/jpar-5-2-3.

Correspondence to: Jane  M. Black, School of Health and Sports Sciences, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, United Kingdom. Email: J.Black4@uos.ac.uk

Abstract

The present study sought to investigate physiological adaptations associated with an 8-week supervised climbing intervention in recreational climbers. Nine participants (5 males and 4 females; age: 37 ± 8 years; stature: 169.7 ± 10.6 cm; body mass 83.3 ± 20.3 kg) volunteered to complete the intervention concomitant with their recreational climbing activities. Blood pressure, body composition, peak aerobic capacity, total cholesterol, and handgrip strength were assessed before and after the intervention. Post-intervention, diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced (pre: 87 ± 6 mmHg, post: 72 ± 10 mmHg, p<0.01), without significant changes in systolic blood pressure (pre: 136 ± 15 mmHg, post: 128 ± 20 mmHg, p=0.19). This resulted in a significant reduction in mean arterial pressure (pre: 103 ± 9 mmHg, post: 90 ± 13 mmHg, p<0.01). A significant reduction in total cholesterol was also observed following the 8-week climbing intervention (pre: 5.09 ± 0.49 mmol/L, post: 4.39 ± 0.63 mmol/L, p<0.01). However, there were no significant changes in body fat percentage (p=0.67), skeletal muscle mass (p=0.76), isometric hand-grip strength (dominant hand: p=0.93, non-dominant hand: p=0.12) or peak aerobic capacity (p=0.37). Supervised indoor climbing exercise may therefore serve as an important non-pharmacological intervention to improve cardiovascular health by reducing mean arterial pressure and total cholesterol levels in recreational climbers, independent of changes in body composition or peak aerobic capacity.

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