Correlations between lifestyle changes and blood pressure indicate how a person could increase their walking to positively impact heart health

Menlo Park, CA – December 13, 2022 – Hello Heart, the only digital therapeutic that focuses exclusively on heart health, today announced new data on how minor lifestyle and behavioral changes can have a significant impact on improving heart health. 

The findings were collected from 6,000 Hello Heart users nationwide over six months.According to this new data, it’s not as daunting to make a positive impact on systolic blood pressure as people may think. 

Surprisingly, adding just five minutes of walking per day made a huge difference. The data shows that increasing the minutes an individual walks per day and sustaining the additional walking minutes overtime is associated with decreasing their systolic blood pressure. An average increase of only 34 minutes of walking per week (an extra five minute walk per day) was associated with an 8.7mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure.

To put this 8.7 mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure in perspective, a meta-analysis published in The Lancet showed that this decrease is very meaningful. Just a 5 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure was associated with significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease events like a heart attack or stroke.

In many cases, it’s a lot easier to add a few minutes of walking per day instead of counting steps. Walking is well-known to have many health benefits. What may be surprising is that data from Hello Heart suggests that the number of steps or absolute number of minutes walked per week is not the only thing associated with systolic blood pressure reduction. Increasing the minutes walked per week and sustaining the additional walking minutes over time are beneficial as well.

Decrease in average SBP for users with stage 2 hypertension after a 30-minute or greater increase in minutes walked per week

Regardless of your current activity level, you have the power to improve your heart health even if you don’t run marathons. The data indicates that how much a hypertensive person walks in a week may matter less than a small, sustainable change and new habit creation. The plot shows the average systolic blood pressure across users with stage 2 hypertension (systolic blood pressure over140/90) who had a 30-minute or greater increase in minutes walked per week compared to when they started the Hello Heart program. Just 30 minutes of increased walking each week, and keeping it up weekly, can have a significant impact on lowering blood pressure over time. 

“Almost half of adults in the U.S.have hypertension, but lifestyle changes to improve high blood pressure may be easier to make than people think,” said Dr. Sanjeev Aggarwal, cardiovascular surgeon and Medical Advisor at Hello Heart. “The idea of making major lifestyle changes can be daunting for many people. The good news is that even small changes like increasing daily minutes walked can help build healthy habits, reduce risk, and ultimately have a lasting impact on an individual’s heart health. By helping people see correlations between behavior changes and the possible impact on their heart health, it can reinforce positive lifestyle changes over time.”

To encourage people to make these behavior changes, Hello Heart recently launched Dot-to-Dot, an AI-driven feature using advanced technology to provide smart, personalized insights that connect users' choices – like going for a walk or taking their medication – to their heart health. Until now users could not easily see how increasing their activity might impact their blood pressure, or how their weight loss and taking their medications more regularly can correlate with their blood pressure, but now they can. 

“Empowering people to manage and improve their health is one of the greatest weapons we have in the fight against heart disease,” said Maayan Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Hello Heart.“Knowledge is power, and with our technology, including the latest Dot-to-Dot feature, we can show users that it is easier than they might think to make a positive impact on their heart health.”

Hello Heart is helping people to understand how their individual behavior correlates to the impact on their heart health. Users can connect to auto-sync their activity or manually enter data such as their weight or if and when they take their medication, and seethe correlations between these actions and their blood pressure and their trends over time. Seeing the dots connected empowers users with smart insights to build and reinforce lasting healthy habits.

Data and insights prompt users to hold themselves accountable

"The insights I get from theHello Heart app help me to hold myself accountable. I work from home, so sometimes it’s easy to forget to get up and move. I love that I am reminded about what a difference even a little activity can make,” said Camille W., a 44-year old Hello Heart user in Tennessee. “Using Hello Heart to track my blood pressure readings regularly has really allowed me to take much more control over my heart health. The graphs and tips in the app really give me good understanding about my choices. It makes it easier to make better daily decisions about my heart health now and for the long run."