Washington: A new study has found that people who exercised more than four hours per week in their leisure time had a 19 percent lower risk of high blood pressure than people who didn't exercise much.
Physical activity in your leisure time could help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, the research suggests.
Researchers pooled results from 13 studies on the effects of physical activity on blood pressure.
The studies involved 136,846 people in the United States, Europe or East Asia who initially had healthy blood pressure.
More than 15,600 later developed high blood pressure during follow-up periods ranging from two to 45 years.
People who had one to three hours per week of leisure exercise had an 11 percent lower risk than those with under an hour of activity.
The findings suggest that the more recreational physical activity you get, the more you are protected from developing high blood pressure.
"Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney disease - thus, it is important to prevent and control hypertension," Wei Ma, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and associate professor at the Shandong University School of Public Health in Jinan, China, said.
"To try to lower your risk of high blood pressure, you should exercise more in your leisure time," the researcher said.
The study is published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.