Acute effects on heart rate variability when exposed to hand transmitted vibration and noise

  • Bodil Björ
  • Lage Burström
  • Marcus Karlsson
  • Tohr Nilsson
  • Ulf Näslund
  • Urban Wiklund
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-007-0205-0

Cite this article as:
Björ, B., Burström, L., Karlsson, M. et al. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2007) 81: 193. doi:10.1007/s00420-007-0205-0
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Abstract

Objectives

This study investigates possible acute effects on heart rate variability (HRV) when people are exposed to hand transmitted vibration and noise individually and simultaneously.

Methods

Ten male and 10 female subjects were recruited by advertisement. Subjects completed a questionnaire concerning their work environment, general health, medication, hearing, and physical activity level. The test started with the subject resting for 15 min while sitting down. After resting, they were exposed to one of four exposure conditions: (1) only vibration; (2) only noise; (3) both noise and vibration; or (4) a control condition of exposure to the static load only. All four exposures lasted 15 min and the resting time between the exposures was 30 min. A continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) signal was recorded and the following HRV parameters were calculated: total spectral power (PTOT); the spectral power of the very low frequency component (PVLF); the low frequency component (PLF); the high frequency component (PHF); and the ratio LF/HF.

Results

Exposure to only vibration resulted in a lower PTOT compared to static load, whereas exposure to only noise resulted in a higher PTOT. The mean values of PTOT, PVLF, PLF, and PHF were lowest during exposure to vibration and simultaneous exposure to vibration and noise.

Conclusions

Exposure to vibration and/or noise acutely affects HRV compared to standing without these exposures. Being exposed to vibration only and being exposed to noise only seem to generate opposite effects. Compared to no exposure, PTOT was reduced during vibration exposure and increased during noise exposure.

Keywords

Vibration exposure HRV Noise ANS 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bodil Björ
    • 1
  • Lage Burström
    • 1
  • Marcus Karlsson
    • 2
  • Tohr Nilsson
    • 3
  • Ulf Näslund
    • 4
  • Urban Wiklund
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational MedicineUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Engineering & InformaticsUniversity HospitalUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Department of Occupational and Environmental MedicineSundsvall HospitalSundsvallSweden
  4. 4.Department of Cardiology, Heart CentreUniversity HospitalUmeåSweden
  5. 5.Department of Radiation SciencesUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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