Physical activity counteracts the influence of mental work on blood pressure in healthy children

Thalia Lapointe, Patrice Brassard, Ben Rattray, Emilie Perusse-Lachance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: While mentalwork (MW) is known to increase blood pressure (BP) in healthy adults, there is a hypotensive effect post-exercise. However, changes in heart rate (HR) and BP induced byMWin close proximity to physical activity in children are notwell described. The purpose of this studywas to evaluate the effects ofMWon HR and BP in children and whether prior acute physical activity influences those effects. Methods: Twenty-five healthy children (11±1 years)were evaluated during two experimental conditions using a randomized crossover design. HR and BPwere measured during 1-) 60 min ofMW(French class) preceded by a 60-min resting period (R-MW) and 2-) 60 min ofMWpreceded by a 60-min physical education class (Ex-MW). Results: Following the resting period, MW increased systolic BP (R-MW vs. rest; 99 ± 8 vs. 94 ± 7 mmHg; p < 0.05) and diastolic BP (65±5 vs. 60±5mmHg; p < 0.05).MWdid not influenceHR (p=0.99). Prior physical activity abolished the elevation in BP induced by MW. Conclusion: These results suggest that MW increases BP in children. However, a physical education class performed beforeMWseems to counteract the effects on BP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-106
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


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