Linda S Pescatello, PhD, FACSM, FAHA, is a Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. Her Postdoctoral work was conducted at the John B Pierce Foundation at Yale University. She has published more than 120 peer reviewed articles, edited four books and written 10 book chapters. She has been awarded for her research by the American College of Sports Medicine, Association for Worksite Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally. Hypertension is the most prevalent, costly and modifiable CVD risk factor and hypertensive related-diseases have emerged as the 10th leading cause of death in the world. Exercise is recommended as a key lifestyle therapy for the prevention, treatment and control of hypertension by the Seventh and Eighth Joint National Committees, the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Lifestyle Work Group, another American Heart Association scientific statement, the American College of Sports Medicine, the European Society of Hypertension and European Society of Cardiology and the Canadian Health Education Program. An exercise prescription (Ex Rx) is the process whereby the physical activity program is designed in terms of the frequency, intensity, time and type known as the FITT principle. There is considerable variability in the existing professional FITT Ex Rx recommendations for hypertension. The purposes of this presentation are to overview the existing exercise recommendations for hypertension, deliberate reasons for differences in these recommendations, discuss gaps in the literature and address critical future research needs. Last, until future research can better fine tune the nuances in Ex Rx for hypertension, the consensus Ex Rx that can be taken from the level of agreement among the various professional recommendations is for adults with pre-to established hypertension to participate in 30 minutes day-1of moderate intensity, aerobic exercise on most, if not all, days of the week to total 150 minutes week-1 or more.