Chronic dynamic (aerobic) exercise decreases central arterial stiffness, whereas chronic resistance exercise evokes the opposite effect. Nevertheless, there is little information available on the effects of acute bouts of exercise. Also, there is limited data showing an increase of central arterial stiffness during acute mental stress. This study aimed to determine the effect of acute mental and physical (static and dynamic exercise) stress on indices of central arterial stiffness. Fifteen young healthy volunteers were studied. The following paradigms were performed: (1) 2 min of mental arithmetic, (2) short bouts (20s) of static handgrip at 20 and 70% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), (3) fatiguing handgrip at 40% MVC and (4) incremental dynamic knee extensor exercise. Central aortic waveforms were assessed using SphygmoCor software. As compared to baseline, pulse wave transit time decreased significantly for all four interventions indicating that central arterial stiffness increased. During fatiguing handgrip there was a fall in the ratio of peripheral to central pulse pressure from 1.69 ± 0.02 at baseline to 1.56 ± 0.05 (P < 0.05). In the knee extensor protocol a non-significant trend for the opposite effect was noted. The augmentation index increased significantly during the arithmetic, short static and fatiguing handgrip protocols, whereas there was no change in the knee extensor protocol. We conclude that (1) during all types of acute stress tested in this study (including dynamic exercise) estimated central stiffness increased, (2) during static exercise the workload posed on the left ventricle (expressed as change in central pulse pressure) is relatively higher than that posed during dynamic exercise (given the same pulse pressure change in the periphery).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine