Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

David P. Swain

Committee Member

J. David Branch

Committee Member

Ladd G. Colston

Committee Member

David W. Hunter


African Americans have a higher incidence of hypertension than other racial groups. Furthermore, some research suggests that normotensive individuals who exhibit exaggerated blood pressure (BP) responses to exercise may be at risk for future hypertension. This study sought to determine if normotensive African Americans exhibited exaggerated BP responses to static exercise or dynamic exercise relative to Caucasian Americans and Asian Americans. Thirty normotensive subjects participated from each of the three racial groups (15 males and 15 females). Subjects held 30% of maximal voluntary contraction (right knee extension) for 3 minutes, and BP was recorded during the third minute. On a separate occasion, subjects cycled for 6 minutes at a power equivalent to 70% of VO2 reserve, and BP was recorded during the sixth minute. Static exercise produced large, significant increases in both systolic and diastolic BP (35 +/- 1.5 and 29 +/- 1.3 mmHg, respectively). Dynamic exercise produced large, significant increases in systolic BP (51 +/- 1.6 mmHg) and moderate, yet significant increases in diastolic BP (8 +/- 1.0 mmHg). There were no significant differences between racial groups in BP response to either static exercise or dynamic exercise. However, during dynamic exercise, males had a higher systolic BP response than did females. In conclusion, African Americans who are normotensive at rest do not exhibit a greater BP response to static exercise or dynamic exercise than do Caucasian Americans or Asian Americans.


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