Zona PlusTM provides a new tool for millions of Canadians living with elevated blood pressure
TORONTO, May 20, 2015 /CNW/ - The Zona PlusTMisometric handgrip device ("Zona Plus") which combines personalized technology and an easy-to-follow 12 minutes per day, five days per week routine for patients with high blood pressure is now available in Canada. A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Hypertensioni that analyzed results from three studies involving 81 adult patients found that isometric handgrip therapy reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 per cent. The Zona Plus device helps patients follow an isometric handgrip exercise therapy program tailored to their unique physiology, and allows them to track changes to their blood pressure electronically.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, affects more than 7.5 million Canadians, and is the leading cause of death and disability around the world.ii One in three people living with hypertension have uncontrolled blood pressureiii, which puts them at risk for serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.iv
About Isometric Handgrip Therapy
Isometric, or static, exercises are defined as the process of contracting certain muscles without actually moving a body part. Research in this area began when a large-scale, Canadian studyv in the 1980s found that isometric activity reduced the incidence of high blood pressure. The study, by Carol Buck, MD, PhD and Allan P. Donner, PhD, looked at 4,273 men classified according to occupational isometric activity; the incidence of hypertension was lower amongst those in jobs with moderate or heavy isometric activity, and this persisted after statistical adjustment for age, social class, obesity and use of alcohol.
In the 1970s, Dr. Ronald Wiley, a cardiopulmonary physiologist working with US Air Force pilots had also observed the blood pressure lowering effect of isometric handgrip therapy. Dr. Wiley and his team spent years researching how to work with these results and deliver a greater blood pressure result in just minutes per day. This research led to the development of the Zona Plus, an easy-to-use, non-invasive handgrip therapy.
"Not only is hypertension common, statistics show that one in three Canadians does not have their high blood pressure controlled," said Dr. Philip Millar, Assistant Professor Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph. "Clearly we need more options. The Zona Plus takes minutes per day and based on the scientific literature, this could be a new option for certain patients with high blood pressure."
About Using the Zona Plus
The Zona Plus is personalized and simple to use; users follow screen prompts to squeeze the handheld device for a total of 12 minutes per day, five days per week. Each 12-minute session consists of brief calibration squeezes, followed by a series of carefully calculated prolonged squeezes with each hand; users receive a score at the end of every session on their device's screen that tells them how accurately they are doing the therapy. As with all exercise programs, patients should speak with their doctor before beginning.
About Zona Health
Zona Plus is available through Zona Health (Canada) Inc., a subsidiary of Zona Health, headquartered in Boise, Idaho which is a privately held company.
i Kelley GA, & Kelley KS. Isometric handgrip exercise and resting blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized control trials. J Hypertens. 2010 Mar; 28(3): 411-8.
ii Hypertension Canada. www.hypertension.ca/en/mission-and-vision. Accessed Feb. 10, 2015.
iii Hypertension Canada. www.hypertension.ca/en/mission-and-vision. Accessed Feb. 10, 2015.
iv Hypertension Canada. https://www.hypertension.ca/en/faq. Accessed Feb. 10, 2015.
v Buck, C., & Donner, A. P. (1985). Isometric occupational exercise and the incidence of hypertension. Journal of Occupational Medicine, 27(5), 370-372. CACR. (1999). Canadian Guidelines for Cardiac Rehabilitation and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention (1st ed.). Winnipeg, Canada: Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation.
SOURCE Zona Health