Prolonged standing increases lower limb arterial stiffness


Purpose: Standing workstations have recently been promoted as a healthy alternative to sitting. However, it is unknown how prolonged standing affects arterial stiffness, a prognostic indicator of cardiovascular health. The purpose of this study was twofold: to observe changes in arterial stiffness, as assessed by pulse wave velocity (PWV), with a 2-h bout of standing, and to determine if short, intermittent walking bouts provide a comparative advantage to standing alone. Methods: Nineteen adults had arterial stiffness assessed by pulse wave velocity. Central (CPWV), upper peripheral (UPWV), and lower peripheral (LPWV) PWV were assessed before (supine), during standing (min 10, 60, and 120), and after (supine) the 2-h standing bout. In one trial, the participants stood at a standing desk immobile for 2 h. In the other trial, participants performed 5-min walking breaks after every 25 min of standing. Results: After 2-h of standing, supine (85.8±90.1 cm/s) and standing (303.4±390.2 cm/s), LPWV increased independent of trial (i.e., main effect of time; p<0.001). Walking breaks during 2 h of standing did not significantly attenuate these changes. In addition, standing CPWV decreased over time (−38.5±61.5 cm/s; p=0.04). Yet, UPWV, standing or supine, did not change over the course of standing (p>0.05).Conclusions: These findings indicate that prolonged standing increases the measures of arterial stiffness and there is no evidence that walk breaks attenuate this response.

European Journal of Applied Physiology

Citeable as:

Caldwell, A. R., Gallagher, K. M., Harris, B. T., Rosa-Caldwell, M. E., Payne, M., Daniels, B., & Ganio, M. S. (2018). Prolonged standing increases lower limb arterial stiffness. European journal of applied physiology, 118(10), 2249-2258.