European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 108, Issue 5, pp 1035–1043 | Cite as

Effect of lecturing to 200 students on heart rate variability and alpha-amylase activity

  • Edith FilaireEmail author
  • Hugues Portier
  • Alain Massart
  • Luis Ramat
  • Anna Teixeira
Original Article


The aim of this study was to examine cardiovascular [heart rate variability (HRV)] and autonomic nervous system activation (by evaluating salivary alpha-amylase activity) that occur in professors both to, and after, the delivery of a lecture to 200 students and to determine whether gender is an influencing factor upon response. Fifty-two participants (26 women and 26 men) collected eight unstimulated saliva samples on 2 days (one a working day on which the lecture was given, the other a non-work or rest day). They also completed the Trait version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) to assess their dispositional anxiety on the rest day and the State section of the STAI 15 min before and 10 min after their lecture, repeated at the same hour on the control (rest) day. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was also recorded 15 min before the lecture. Continuous RR intervals were recorded before and after the lecture and the following HRV parameters were calculated: total spectral power (P TOT); the spectral power of the low frequency component (P LF); the high frequency component (P HF); and the ratio LF/HF. A reduction (P < 0.05) in the HF and HFnu component of HRV and an increase in the LH/HF ratio (P < 0.05) were observed at the end of the lecture. AA activity measured on the teaching day was significantly higher than that noted on the resting day. Lecturing resulted in a significant increase in the secretion of the stress marker alpha-amylase. Men and women did not differ in trait and state anxiety and no gender differences for HRV or AA activity were found.


Heart rate variability Anxiety Alpha-amylase Professor Stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edith Filaire
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hugues Portier
    • 1
  • Alain Massart
    • 1
  • Luis Ramat
    • 2
  • Anna Teixeira
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire AMAPPUFRSTAPS-2Orléans CedexFrance
  2. 2.Centro de estudos BiocineticosFaculdade de Ciencas do Desporto e Educaçao FisicaCoimbraPortugal

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