Study: Think­ing of your part­ner can lower blood pres­sure

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports & Classifieds - BY NAJJA PARKER

A healthy reg­i­men can help you main­tain a nor­mal blood pres­sure, but hav­ing a ro­man­tic part­ner may be ben­e­fi­cial, too.

Re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Ari­zona re­cently con­ducted a study, pub­lished in Psy­chophys­i­ol­ogy jour­nal, to de­ter­mine how close re­la­tion­ships af­fect blood pres­sure.

To do so, they asked 102 peo­ple, who were in com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ships, to com­plete a stress­ful task. They were told to sub­merge their foot into 3 inches of cold wa­ter rang­ing from 38 to 40 de­grees Fahren­heit.

As the sub­jects com­pleted the as­sign­ment, they were ran­domly as­signed to one of three con­di­tions. They ei­ther had their sig­nif­i­cant other sit­ting qui­etly in the room or they were in­structed to think about their ro­man­tic part­ner as a source of sup­port or to re­flect on their day.

The team mea­sured the group’s blood pres­sure, heart rate and heart rate vari­abil­ity be­fore, dur­ing and after the task.

After an­a­lyz­ing the re­sults, they found those who had their part­ner phys­i­cally present or those who thought about their part­ner had a lower blood pres­sure re­sponse to the task, com- pared to the oth­ers.

“The find­ings may help ex­plain, in part, why high­qual­ity ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships are con­sis­tently as­so­ci­ated with pos­i­tive health out­comes in the sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture,” coau­thor Kyle Bourassa said in a state­ment. “And it ap­pears that think­ing of your part­ner as a source of sup­port can be just as powerful as ac­tu­ally hav­ing them present.”

The au­thors noted their lim­i­ta­tions. They only as­sessed col­lege stu­dents but hope to ob­serve peo­ple of var­i­ous age ranges. Nev­er­the­less, they be­lieve ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships can help with stress.

“There are many sit­u­a­tions, in­clud­ing at work, with school ex­ams or even dur­ing med­i­cal pro­ce­dures, where we would ben­e­fit from lim­it­ing our de­gree of blood pres­sure re­ac­tiv­ity,” Bourassa said, “and these find­ings sug­gest that a re­la­tional ap­proach to do­ing so can be quite powerful.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.