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Response of cardiovascular system to exercise using bicycle ergometer among first year medical students

Kalyani Praba Premsundar, Vijay Anand Balasubramanian, Adhithi Venkat, Thamarai Selvi K, Saravanan A.


Background: Hypertension is becoming more common in young adults because of sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise in this digital world. The literature regarding the prevalence of hypertension among medical students in South India is limited. This study was done to find out the cardiovascular response in response to bicycle ergometric exercises.

Aim and Objectives: This study aims to find the response of short time effect of exercise on cardiovascular system by using bicycle ergometer among medical students and to determine the prevalence of prehypertension and hypertension in them.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 100 medical students to assess their cardiovascular response to bicycle ergometer exercise. The subject was instructed to pedal the cycle for 5 min with 50–60 revolutions per minute. Pulse rate and blood pressure (BP) were recorded in resting state, during exercise (at 3 min), after exercise (at 5 min), and after recovery (10 min). Statistical analysis was performed using repeated measure ANOVA test and Pearson’s correlation co-efficient.

Results: About 24% students had increased systolic and 15% had increased diastolic BPs at rest. There was a significant increase in both during exercise. Ten minutes after exercise, the systolic BP was in prehypertensive range in 25% and Stage 1 hypertension in 2% students. Body mass index correlated with BP positively.

Conclusion: The prevalence of prehypertension among asymptomatic healthy medical students is high. Medical students need orientation to improve their knowledge, attitude, and lifestyle practices early in life for prevention and treatment of hypertension.

Key words: Exercise; Bicycle Ergometer; Prehypertension; Cardiovascular Response

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