Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Obesity and low level of cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with high blood pressure in both adolescents and adults. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship of adiposity and cardiorespiratory fitness with resting blood pressure in 14-year-old male and female adolescents. Cross-sectional data on 310 adolescents (31.8% boys) from six high schools, who were participating in the on-going Physical Activity and Health Longitudinal Study, were collected. Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), percentage of body fat, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, predicted and resting systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were assessed according to standard procedures. The prevalence of elevated SBP and DBP were 4.9% and 6.5%, respectively. The highest prevalence of elevated blood pressure (SBP=10% and DBP=15%) were measured in overweight adolescents, who also performed poorly for predicted VO(2max)(M=26.66 ml kg(-1 )min(-1)±6.44) compared with underweight and normal-weight adolescents. Multiple regression showed that BMI was positively associated with SBP (β=0.77, P=0.005) and VO(2max) was negatively associated with DBP (β=-0.43, P=0.001). Overweight adolescents presented with a relatively high prevalence of elevated blood pressure and poor health-related fitness. Fatness and poor cardiorespiratory fitness were positively associated with elevated SBP and DBP, respectively. In view of the health implications of these findings, strategic interventions are needed to promote obesity-reduction programmes and physical activities in adolescents.

Original publication




Journal article


J hum hypertens

Publication Date





245 - 251


Adiposity, Adolescent, Age Factors, Body Mass Index, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Health Status, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Pediatric Obesity, Physical Fitness, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Sedentary Lifestyle, South Africa