Deakin University
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Does the Temporal Asymmetry of Short-Term Heart Rate Variability Change during Regular Walking? A Pilot Study of Healthy Young Subjects

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Version 2 2024-06-06, 03:00
Version 1 2018-06-18, 10:08
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-06, 03:00 authored by X Wang, C Yan, B Shi, C Liu, Chandan KarmakarChandan Karmakar, P Li
The acceleration and deceleration patterns in heartbeat fluctuations distribute asymmetrically, which is known as heart rate asymmetry (HRA). It is hypothesized that HRA reflects the balancing regulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This study was designed to examine whether altered autonomic balance during exercise can lead to HRA changes. Sixteen healthy college students were enrolled, and each student undertook two 5-min ECG measurements: one in a resting seated position and another while walking on a treadmill at a regular speed of 5 km/h. The two measurements were conducted in a randomized order, and a 30-min rest was required between them. RR interval time series were extracted from the 5-min ECG data, and HRA (short-term) was estimated using four established metrics, that is, Porta’s index (PI), Guzik’s index (GI), slope index (SI), and area index (AI), from both raw RR interval time series and the time series after wavelet detrending that removes the low-frequency component of <~0.03 Hz. Our pilot data showed a reduced PI but unchanged GI, SI, and AI during walking compared to resting seated position based on the raw data. Based on the wavelet-detrended data, reduced PI, SI, and AI were observed while GI still showed no significant changes. The reduced PI during walking based on both raw and detrended data which suggests less short-term HRA may underline the belief that vagal tone is withdrawn during low-intensity exercise. GI may not be sensitive to short-term HRA. The reduced SI and AI based on detrended data suggest that they may capture both short- and long-term HRA features and that the expected change in short-term HRA is amplified after removing the trend that is supposed to link to long-term component. Further studies with more subjects and longer measurements are warranted to validate our observations and to examine these additional hypotheses.



Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine



Article number

ARTN 3543048


1 - 9


United States







Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Xinpei Wang et al.