Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 06, 471 - 476

Research article
The Impact of Short Term Supervised and Home-Based Walking Programmes on Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease
Gavin R.H. Sandercock,1 , Lynette D. Hodges2, Saroj K. Das3, David A. Brodie4
Author Information
1 Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, UK
2 Division of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Bedfordshire, Luton Campus, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
3 Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust, Pield Heath Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK
4 Research Centre for Health Studies, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, Newlands Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St.Giles, Buckinghamshire, UK

Gavin R.H. Sandercock
‚úČ Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ, UK
Email: gavins@essex.ac.uk
Publish Date
Received: 05-07-2007
Accepted: 07-08-2007
Published (online): 01-12-2007
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ABSTRACT

The aims of the study were to determine whether heart rate variability (HRV) measured at rest and during exercise could be altered by an exercise training programme designed to increase walking performance in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Forty-four volunteers were randomised into 12 weeks of either: supervised walking training twice weekly for 30 min at 75% VO2peak (SU), home-based walking training sessions: twice weekly, 30 min per week (HB) or no exercise (CT). HRV measures were calculated from a 5-min resting ECG. Each patient then underwent maximal, graded exercise treadmill testing. All measures were repeated after 12 weeks. The SU group showed significantly (p < 0.001) increased maximal walking time (MWT) but no change in VO2peak. There were no statistically significant changes in any of the measures of HRV in any group. Effect sizes for change in HRV measures were all very small and in some cases negative. Improved walking performance was not accompanied by central cardiorespiratory or neuroregulatory adaptations in the present study. The lack of any change in HRV was possibly due to either the low intensity or discontinuous nature of exercise undertaken.

Key words: Exercise, ischemia, autonomic nervous system


           Key Points
  • It is known that exercise can positively influence heart rate variability in some cardiac patients.
  • It is known that exercise can increase walking performance in peripheral vascular disease patients.
  • Exercise training improved walking performance in peripheral vascular disease patients but HRV was unaltered.
  • This may be due to low overall physiological demands on the cardiovascular system or the intermittent nature of the exercise.
 
 
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