European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 6, pp 1123–1128

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

  • Davinia Vicente-Campos
  • Aurora Martín López
  • María Jesús Nuñez
  • Jose López Chicharro
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-014-2847-4

Cite this article as:
Vicente-Campos, D., López, A.M., Nuñez, M.J. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2014) 114: 1123. doi:10.1007/s00421-014-2847-4



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.


Heart rate recovery Physical fitness Ergometry test Health 



Body mass index


Heart rate


Heart rate recovery


Heart rate at rest

Peak VO2

Peak oxygen uptake


Respiratory exchange ratio


Oxygen uptake


Maximal oxygen uptake

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davinia Vicente-Campos
    • 1
  • Aurora Martín López
    • 2
  • María Jesús Nuñez
    • 3
  • Jose López Chicharro
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Universidad Francisco de VitoriaMadridSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Centro Médico del Deporte OHPReebok Sports ClubMadridSpain
  4. 4.Grupo FEBIO, Universidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain
  5. 5.Universidad MayorSantiago de ChileChile

Personalised recommendations