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This study is not currently recruiting. Please check back at a later time.


Do you have elevated blood pressure, or have you been diagnosed by your doctor with hypertension? Do you also find it difficult to adhere to current exercise guidelines as recommended by your doctor? You may be eligible for a research study to examine if it is reasonable and doable for older adults to complete a unique exercise intervention to lower 24-hour blood pressure.


This study is exploring if it is reasonable and achievable for older adults to engage in a unique exercise intervention combining isometric handgrip exercise and walking to lower 24-hour blood pressure. Importantly, all participants who volunteer will be assigned to the exercise intervention group.

  • You are 65 years or older
  • You have elevated blood pressure or have been diagnosed with stage 1 hypertension
  • Are NOT currently active on a regular basis (less than 2 days/week of planned activity)


The research study lasts about 8 weeks and includes:

  • Questionnaires and surveys for you to complete during in-person visits;
  • An initial in-person visit to our research center to learn more about the study and complete additional questionnaires about general health and your daily feelings of fatigue, resting blood pressure in both arms, height and weight, a 24-hour blood pressure assessment, and to provide you with study materials and devices used in the study;
  • Participation in 8-weeks of a combined exercise intervention which includes tracking your daily steps with a pedometer (6000-8000/day) + 3-days per week of isometric handgrip exercise. We will also ask you to participate in once per week one-on-one Zoom sessions with investigators during the 8-week program.
    • *During the 8-week program: a halfway point (week 4) in-person follow up with investigators to complete resting and 24-hour blood pressure assessments and questionnaires to evaluate your progress.
  • Two final visits to the research lab to complete resting blood pressure in both arms, a final 24-hour blood pressure measure and post-intervention questionnaires and surveys after the 8 weeks.

IRB: STUDY23060070
- Feasibility of a Home-Based Walking + Isometric Handgrip Intervention on 24-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Older Persons with Hypertension

  Healthy Aging, Healthy Volunteer

PHONE NUMBER: 1-866-438-8230
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Visit https://pittplusme.org/study/2721 and click on "I'm Interested" or call 1-866-438-8230.




Benjamin Gordon

Dr. Ben Gordon is an Assistant Professor in the department of Health and Human Development. His research focuses on simple and convenient exercise interventions to manage and lower blood pressure. Specifically his research alongside his collaborators explores the effect of isometric handgrip exercise in adults with and without hypertension as a supplemental antihypertensive lifestyle strategy. Dr. Gordon has also taken interest in the unique physiological phenomenon of the interarm difference in blood pressure that occurs during both rest and exercise as increased cardiovascular risk may be associated with a widened pressure between arms.
Raised in Michigan for most of his life, Dr. Gordon earned his BS in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University, MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology from East Stroudsburg University, and his PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Before joining the faculty at Pitt, Dr. Gordon spent four years as an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Slippery Rock University.