Analysis of Heart Rate Recovery in a 10-Week Exercise Program

Abstract

Background: Heart rate recovery (HRR) is the heart rate measured at a fixed time after cessation of activity. Studies show that a HRR of 12 beats per minute or less from the heart rate at peak exercise is correlated with all-cause mortality. A greater reduction in heart rate after exercise is indicative of a healthier, better conditioned heart. The purpose of this study is to analyze HRR change after a 10-week supervised exercise program. Methods: The 10-minute recumbent bike test was used to systematically elevate participants’ heart rate to 85% of their maximal heart rate (MHR). 85% of the MHR was calculated using the Karvonen formula. After sustaining 85% MHR for one-minute, exercise was discontinued and HRR was measured one and two minutes post cessation. If unable to attain 85% MHR, the rate of perceived exertion scale was used for safety purposes. Statistical significance will be correlated using SPSS-18 statistical software. Results: After 10 weeks, 47 participants completed the program with an average of 4.13 workouts a week per person. There was an average improvement of 2.67 beats per minute for HRR at one minute and 3.54 beats per minute for HRR after two minutes. Of the six participants that were in the high-risk category, only one remained after 10-weeks. Conclusion: Based on analytical data, exercise improves HRR. More importantly, it removes individuals from the risk of all-cause mortality. Limitations may include short duration of study, participant dropout rate, and a small sample size.