High blood pressure sufferers would prefer to pop a pill or sip a cup of tea than do exercise to improve their condition.
Faced with a choice of four “treatments” to gain up to five years extra life, they were still reluctant to exercise.
Researchers proposed the “treatments” to a group of people who were asked to imagine they had high blood pressure.
They were then asked which solution they would prefer to help them gain a month, a year or five years extra on their lives.
The proposals included a daily cup of tea, pills, injections or exercise to those taking part in a study.
Pill popping was a popular choice with 90pc accepting they would take pills for an extra year of life. The figure jumped to 96pc if it would extend their lives by five years.
A daily cup of tea was also popular with 91pc accepting this option for an extra year and 96pc for an extra five years.
Asked about exercise only 84pc would do it for an extra year of life and 93pc would do it for an extra five years.
The monthly injection was the least popular option with only 74pc agreeing to this for an extra year of life and 88pc for an extra five years.
“We are good about discussing side effects, but rarely do we find out if other inconveniences or burdens may be impacting a person’s willingness to take a lifelong medication or to exercise regularly,” concluded Dr Erica Spatz, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven.
High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because it causes no symptoms.
To prevent high blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommends getting regular physical activity, in addition to other lifestyle changes.
These changes include eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.
The study results where presented to scientific sessions of the American Heart Association.