The exercise-related response of the rate-pressure-product (RPP) is a prognostic marker of autonomic imbalance, cardiovascular mortality, and silent myocardial ischemia in hypertension. In view of the well-known 24 h variation in out-of-hospital sudden cardiac events, our aim was to investigate whether the reactivity of RPP to everyday physical activities varies over the 24 h. Ambulatory measurements of systolic blood pressure (BP) and heart rate were recorded every 20 min for 24 h in 440 diurnally active patients attending a hypertension clinic. Wrist activity counts were summed over the 15 min that preceded a BP measurement. An RPP reactivity index was derived for each of twelve 2 h data bins by regressing the change in RPP against the change in logged activity counts. The RPP showed 24 h variation (p < 0.0005), with a peak of 11,004 (95% CI = 10,757 to 11,250) beat · min-1 · mmHg occurring at 10:00 h (2 h after mean wake-time). The overall 24 h mean of RPP reactivity was 477 beat · min-1 · mmHg · logged activity counts-1 (95% CI = 426 to 529). The largest increase in RPP reactivity occurred within the first 2 h after waking (p < 0.0005). There were no subsequent significant differences in RPP reactivity up to 14 h after waking. The lowest RPP reactivity was found 18-20 h after waking, with a peak-to-trough variation of 593 beat · min-1 · mmHg · logged activity counts-1 (95% CI = 394 to 791, p < 0.0005). Although this variation was not moderated by BP status, age, or sex, less variability in RPP reactivity was found for the medicated individuals during the waking hours. These data suggest that under conditions of normal living, the reactivity of RPP to a given change in physical activity increases markedly during the first 2 h after waking from nocturnal sleep, the time when out-of-hospital sudden cardiac events are also most common. Therefore, these data add weight to the notion that reactivity of RPP to physical activity could be a prognostic marker of autonomic imbalance and cardiovascular mortality, although more research is needed to assess the specific prognostic value of 24 h ambulatory measurements of RPP and physical activity.