Body position and cardio-respiratory variables in older people

Susan Gordon, Anne Jones, Rebecca Sealey, Petra Buettner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    What effect does body position have on cardio-respiratory variables in active older people? An experimental laboratory study was undertaken measuring heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and oxygen saturation when 26 active people aged 60 years and over adopted five standardized body positions. Measurements were taken every 2 min over a 10-min period in sitting, right side lying, left side lying, supine and supine with the head 20° below the level of the body. Rate pressure product and mean arterial pressure were calculated. Smoking history, medication use, health conditions and activity level were recorded. Height, weight and body fat were measured. Left and right side lying produced significantly lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure, rate pressure product and mean arterial pressure than supine with the head down. Excluding oxygen saturation mean values for all variables remained within recommended normal limits in all positions. Significant differences in cardio-respiratory variables occur when active older people change body position. Positioning as a treatment intervention appears safe in supine, side lying and sitting for this population. Head down supine position should be adopted with caution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-27
    Number of pages5
    JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


    • Age and cardio-respiratory system
    • Cardio-vascular aging
    • Position of older people


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