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Methods: One hundred and ninety-three apparently healthy adults were purposively recruited to participate in the study. An electronic blood pressure monitor was used to measure participants’ systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and pulse rate (PR) in erect standing posture on land and whilst immersed to xiphisternum level at a critical temperature both on land (26oC) and in water (29oC). Data were summarized using descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation. Cardiovascular parameters on land and in water were compared using paired t-test. Alpha values were considered significant at p<0.05.
Results: The mean age of participants was 22.4±2.7 years whilst their mean weight and height were 60.7±10.4 kg and 1.6±0.1m respectively. The SBP during immersion in erect standing (123.0±20.3 mmHg) was significantly lower (p<0.001) than on land (126.0±14.9 mmHg). Similarly, DBP in water (72.0±15.6) was significantly lower (p<0.001) than on land (78.0±10.1). Participants’ PR measured in water (74.0±14.5 bpm) was also significantly lower (p<0.001) than on land (80.0±14.7 bpm).
Conclusion: Blood pressure and pulse rate in erect standing were significantly lower in water than on land. The outcome should thus serve as a guide during hydrotherapy procedures in clinical practice.