Date of Award

Summer 4-2022

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Nutrition

Committee Chair

Dr. Stephanie McCoy

Committee Chair School

Kinesiology and Nutrition

Committee Member 2

Dr. Riley Galloway

Committee Member 2 School

Kinesiology and Nutrition

Committee Member 3

Dr. Paul Donahue

Committee Member 3 School

Kinesiology and Nutrition

Committee Member 4

Dr. Zhanxin Sha

Committee Member 4 School

Kinesiology and Nutrition


Prolonged sitting can cause adverse vascular responses, including elevations in aortic stiffness which might contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Few studies have investigated the impact of intermittent standing and/or prior exercise as strategies to mitigate these deleterious vascular changes. Purpose: to explore vascular health responses to prolonged sitting, with and without intermittent standing and/or prior exercise. Methods: 15 males aged between 18 and 31 years were recruited. Participants completed a control condition (Sitting Only), and three randomized strategy conditions (Sitting Plus Standing, Exercise Plus Sitting, Exercise Plus Sitting Plus Standing). For all conditions, measurements of carotid-femoral PWV (cfPWV) were taken at pre- and post-intervention, and brachial and central blood pressure (BP) at pre-, 1-hour-, 2-hours-, and 3-hours-intervention. Results: Condition and time did not interact significantly for any vascular parameters. cfPWV significantly increased from pre- to post-intervention for all conditions (p=0.003, p=0.043, p=0.001, p=0.008), as well for brachial and central diastolic BP for the control condition (p=0.044, p=0.015). Brachial systolic BP at 3-hours-intervention and central systolic BP at 1-hour-intervention were significantly higher for the control condition compared to the Exercise Plus Sitting Plus Standing condition (p=0.005, p=0.010). Conclusions: BP and cfPWV may not be meaningfully influenced by these strategies and do not seem to be related. These strategies may reduce BP in the brachial and aortic arteries, and a combination of prior exercise and intermittent standing may reduce systolic BP more effectively. Future research should explore mechanistic links between sitting and aortic stiffening and experiment with other strategies.