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
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2009) 08, 616 - 621

Research article
Net Heart Rate to Prescribe Physical Activity in Middle-Aged to Older Active Adults
José A Bragada1,2, , P. Magalhães Pedro1, Catarina S. Vasques1,2, M. Barbosa Tiago1,2, P. Lopes Vítor1,2
Author Information
1 Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Bragança, Portugal
2 , Vila Real, Portugal

José A Bragada
✉ Department of Sport Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, Apartado 1101, 5301-856 Bragança, Portugal.
Publish Date
Received: 29-07-2009
Accepted: 07-10-2009
Published (online): 01-12-2009
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This study had a twofold purpose: i) to develop a regression equation to estimate metabolic equivalent (MET) in walk/run by heart rate increment above rest (NetHR), and; ii) to determine NetHR thresholds for light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity (PA), from middle aged to elderly. Sample 1 (prediction sample) comprised 39 subjects (19 male and 20 female), with 58.2 ± 11.0 years old. Sample 2 (validation sample) comprised 40 subjects (18 male and 22 female) with 63.3 ± 7.0 years old. Each participant did the following activities in sequence, a 15min rest period in supine position, walk at 3km/h, walk at 4.5km/h, and walk at 6km/h, for 6 min at each walk velocity interval. The oxygen up-take (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were continuously and simultaneously assessed. A hierarchical linear model was used to analyze the relationship between metabolic equivalent (MET) and NetHR. The regression equation for MET prediction was: MET = 1.265780 + 0.109479 NetHR. The NetHR thresholds (upper limit) for light, moderate and vigorous PA were 16 and 35 and 70 bpm, respectively. NetHR is a practical, valid and non-invasive method to prescribe physical activity, taking in account individual characteristics (HR at rest combined with NetHR) in middle-aged to older adults.

Key words: Net heart rate, physical activity thresholds, MET, exercise prescription, oxygen up-take.

           Key Points
  • Physical activity intensity can be prescribed by NetHR, in middle aged to older active adults.
  • NetHR thresholds (upper limit) for light (<3 MET), moderate (3 to 6 MET) and vigorous (6 to 9 MET) PA were respectively 17, 43 and 67 bpm.
  • We can estimate MET intensity level by equation: MET = 1.265780 + 0.109479 .NetHR.
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