A new U.S. survey has revealed that if given the choice, most of us would choose popping a pill or drinking a daily cup of tea over exercise in order to lower high blood pressure.

Researchers from Yale School of Medicine surveyed 1,384 U.S. adults, most of whom had high blood pressure, to find out more about how people weigh up the benefits of treatments with the inconveniences.

The researchers asked participants to imagine that they had high blood pressure and then asked about how willing they would be to undergo any of four "treatments" to gain an extra month, year or five years of life.

The "treatments" proposed were drinking a daily cup of tea, doing exercise, taking pills, or having a monthly or semi-annual injection.

The responses showed that taking a pill would be the preferred choice for many, with 79 per cent of respondents saying they would be willing to take a pill for an extra month of life, 90 per cent would for an extra year of life and 96 per cent would for an extra five years of life.

This was very closely followed by drinking a cup of tea, with 78 per cent saying they would drink a daily cup of tea for one extra month of life, 91 per cent for one extra year of life, and 96 per cent would for an extra five years of life.

In comparison, 63 per cent would be willing to exercise for an extra month of life, although this figure rose to 84 per cent for an extra year and 93 percent for an additional five years.

The least popular choice was taking an injection, with only 51 per cent saying they would take a monthly shot for an extra month of life. However, participants were more willing if the gains were greater, or if the shots were every six months.

Despite not being a popular choice for many in the study, exercise is one of the key prevention methods recommended by the American Heart Association to prevent high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Recent research has also highlighted the importance of regular exercise in preventing heart disease, finding that it can even benefit higher risk groups such as seniors and the obese.

The preliminary research was presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018, which took place April 6-7.