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Crossing your leg over may not be good for your blood pressure! A team from Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, has shown, in a study of 25 subjects, that the mere act of crossing their ankle over their knee, in the sitting position, caused considerable haemodynamic changes.
For example, compared to the 'uncrossed position', blood pressure rose +11.4/+3.8 mmHg, mean arterial pressure (MAP) rose 7.0 mmHg and heart rate by 1.7 beats per minute. There were also increases in cardiac output and stroke volume.
The authors recommend that all those who measure blood pressure should be aware of these effects and patients advised to keep their feet on the floor during measurements. They also suggest that, "the position of the legs should be mentioned in all guidelines and publications regarding blood pressure".
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