, Volume 114, Issue 6, pp 1123-1128
Date: 20 Feb 2014

Heart rate recovery normality data recorded in response to a maximal exercise test in physically active men

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Despite a growing clinical interest in determining the heart rate recovery (HRR) response to exercise, the limits of a normal HRR have not yet been well established.


This study was designed to examine HRR following a controlled maximal exercise test in healthy, physically active adult men.


The subjects recruited (n = 789) performed a maximal stress test on a treadmill. HRR indices were calculated by subtracting the first and third minute heart rates (HRs) during recovery from the maximal HR obtained during stress testing and designated these as HRR-1 and HRR-3, respectively. The relative change in HRR was determined as the decrease in HR produced at the time points 1 and 3 min after exercise as a percentage of the peak HR (%HRR-1/HRpeak and %HRR-3/HRpeak, respectively). Percentile values of HRR-1 and HRR-3 were generated for the study population.


Mean HHR-1 and HHR-3 were 15.24 ± 8.36 and 64.58 ± 12.17 bpm, respectively, and %HRR-1/HRpeak and %HRR-3/HRpeak were 8.60 ± 4.70 and 36.35 ± 6.79 %, respectively. Significant correlation was detected between Peak VO2 and HRR-3 (r = 0.36; p < 0.001) or %HRR-3/HRpeak (r = 0.23; p < 0.001).


Our study provides normality data for HRR following a maximal Ergometry test obtained in a large population of physically active men.

Communicated by Massimo Pagani.