Influence of gender on resting cardiovascular parameters of apparently healthy adults on land and in water

  • Ajediran I Bello Department of Physiotherapy, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
  • Babatunde O.A. Adegoke Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
  • Ademola O. Abass
  • Charles Antwi-Boasiako
Keywords: Arterial Pressure, Body Mass Index, Gender, Standing, Hydrotherapy


Background: The hydro-pool is widely used for health promotion and rehabilitation, yet information regarding resting cardiovascular responses of male and female adults to acute water immersion is scarce.

Objective: This study evaluated gender influence on resting Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP), Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) and pulse rate of apparently healthy adults during acute water immersion in erect standing (ES) at xiphisternum level.

Methods: 193 healthy adults (96 males and 97 females) who were non-regular swimmers participated in this study. Participants Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated using their height and body weight measured on land. The SBP, DBP and pulse rate were measured on land and in the hydro-pool after 2 to 3 minutes of immersion using an electronic blood pressure monitor. The MAP was calculated using the formula: MAP= DBP+ (SBP-DBP/3). Data were analysed using paired sampled t test and mixed design two-way ANOVA at p<0.05.

Results: Participants ages ranged between 18 and 38 years (mean age = 22.42.7 years). The BMI of male and female participants were not significantly different. Male and female groups experienced significant reductions in MAP (5.9mmHg vs 4.9mmHg), DBP (7.7mmHg vs 5.4mmHg) and pulse rate (4.4bpm vs 8.1bpm), respectively, during water immersion. However, SBP on land and during water immersion for both groups were not significantly different. There were significant main effects for all the cardiovascular parameters measured but significant interraction effects (environment x gender) were found for MAP and SBP only.

Conclusion: Human cardiovascular responses to acute immersion in a hydro-pool is influenced by gender with respect to MAP and SBP. This should always be considered during hydrotherapy.


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How to Cite
Bello, A. I., Adegoke, B. O., Abass, A. O., & Antwi-Boasiako, C. (2013). Influence of gender on resting cardiovascular parameters of apparently healthy adults on land and in water. Nigerian Journal of Medical Rehabilitation, 16(1).
Research Articles