Heart rate responses of women aged 23-67 years during competitive orienteering

S. Bird, M. George, J. Balmer, R.C.R. Davison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To compare the heart rate responses of women orienteers of different standards and to assess any relation between heart rate responses and age.
Methods: Eighteen competitive women orienteers completed the study. They were divided into two groups: eight national standard orienteers (ages 23–67 years); 10 club standard orienteers (ages 24–67 years). Each participant had her heart rate monitored during a race recognised by the British Orienteering Federation. Peak heart rate (HRPEAK), mean heart rate (HRMEAN), standard deviation of her heart rate during each orienteering race (HRSD), and mean change in heart rate at each control point (ΔHRCONTROL) were identified. The data were analysed using analysis of covariance with age as a covariate.
Results: National standard orienteers displayed a lower within orienteering race standard deviation in heart rate (6 (2) v 12 (2) beats/min, p<0.001) and a lower ΔHRCONTROL (5 (1) v 17 (4) beats/min, p<0.001). The mean heart rate during competition was higher in the national standard group (170 (11) v 158 (11) beats/min, p = 0.025). The HRMEAN for the national and club standard groups were 99 (8)% and 88 (9)% of their age predicted maximum heart rate (220−age) respectively. All orienteers aged >55 years (n = 4) recorded HRMEAN greater than their age predicted maximum.
Conclusions: The heart rate responses indicate that national and club standard women orienteers of all ages participate in the sport at a vigorous intensity. The higher ΔHRCONTROL of club standard orienteers is probably due to failing to plan ahead before arriving at the controls and this, coupled with slowing down to navigate or relocate when lost, produced a higher HRSD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-257
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Heart rate responses of women aged 23-67 years during competitive orienteering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this