Date of Award


Degree Type

Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Julie M. Brandy


Elevated blood pressure (BP), or hypertension (HTN), can cause a cascade of detrimental effects to the body. It is associated with increased risk of stroke, angina, myocardial infarction, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, end-stage renal disease, and abdominal aortic aneurysms (Whelton et al., 2018). HTN is also a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the United States’ (U.S.) leading cause of death in men and women (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force [USPSTF], 2020). The PICOT question for this project was: does an eight-week (T) structured walking program utilizing a smartwatch for step counts and education (I) reduce BP and increase the number of minutes of weekly moderate-intensity walking (O) in adults aged 18 years or older with essential hypertension (P) compared to baseline (C)? Thirteen participants from a large family practice office in Northwest Indiana completed the eight-week within-group project. Baseline BPs were measured, minutes per week of moderate-intensity walking at baseline were recorded, and education about HTN was given verbally and visually using handouts. The participants were instructed to walk at a moderate intensity for at least 90 minutes per week during weeks one through four, at least 120 minutes during weeks five and six, and at least 150 minutes during weeks seven and eight. At four weeks, a follow-up visit served to reinforce education and adherence to the program. At the week eight visit, participant logs of minutes per week of moderate-intensity walking were collected, and BP was measured. Wilcoxon Signed Rank Tests were used to analyze systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), and minutes per week of moderate-intensity walking (MIW). Statistically significant differences were found in SBP (p = .007), DBP (p = .021), and minutes per week of MIW (p = .005). These findings indicate that a structured walking program can help people with HTN reduce their BP by walking at a moderate intensity for 90 to 150 minutes per week.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

A. Peterson DNP poster.pdf (790 kB)