Is Cardiovascular Health Affected by Exercise Type and Impact?

Sarah Buckingham


The principal aim of this study was to determine whether cardiovascular health, assessed by resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure and resting heart rate, was affected by exercise type (golf vs. tennis) and associated impact (low vs. high). Male and female golfers (n = 40) and tennis players (n = 40) aged between 40 and 71 years completed a short questionnaire relating to their main sport and typical exercise habits. Resting blood pressure and heart rate readings were then taken using an electronic wrist sphygmomanometer. The analysis of variance (General Linear Model) showed that overall there were no significant differences in either the resting systolic or diastolic blood pressure, or resting heart rate, of golfers and tennis players. However, a significant increase in systolic blood pressure with age (F = 10.48, p = 0.002) was observed in golfers, compared with no significant age-related increases in blood pressure in tennis players. In conclusion, exercise type and impact appear to have no effect on cardiovascular health in the 40 to 71 year olds age group, but high impact exercise may have a protective effect against age-related increases in blood pressure which requires further investigation.

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