Heart rate variability during recovery from a Wingate test in adolescent males

Styliani Goulopoulou, Kevin S. Heffernan, Bo Fernhall, Greg Yates, Adam D.G. Baxter-Jones, Viswanath B. Unnithan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of maturity status on the autonomic nervous system at rest and recovery after short-term, high-intensity exercise in adolescents.
METHODS: A biological maturity age was estimated in 27 males by calculating the years from peak height velocity (PHV) using a multiple regression equation. Subjects were divided into two groups: pre-PHV (years from PHV < 0.49), N = 14, mean age = 12.29 +/- 0.91 yr; post-PHV (years from PHV > 0.5, N = 13, mean age = 15.12 +/-0.76 yr). HR variability was used to evaluate autonomic function. ECG tracings were collected during 5 min at rest and recovery after a Wingate test and were analyzed in the frequency domain (low-frequency (LF), high-frequency (HF), LF/HF, total power (TP)). Data are presented as natural logarithms (LN).
RESULTS: Changes in HR from HR(peak) during exercise to HR measured at minute 4 after exercise ([DELTA]HR4) were significantly greater in the pre-PHV group (84.31 +/-17.58 bpm) compared with the post-PHV group (69.42 +/-17.63 bpm). There were no significant differences in resting HR variability between pre- and post-PHV groups (P > 0.05). Significant group x time interactions were found for LF(LN) (ms(2)) and TP(LN) (ms(2)) measured during recovery (P < 0.05). Post hoc tests showed that the pre-PHV group had significantly higher postexercise LF(LN) (5.02 +/- 0.97 vs 4.19 +/- 0.79) and TP(LN) (6.36 +/- 1.02 vs 5.62 +/- 0.65) compared with the post-PHV group. When postexercise LF(LN) (ms(2)) was normalized for TP(LN) (ms(2)), there were no significant differences between groups (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The pre-PHV group had higher total HR variability than the post-PHV group after a Wingate test, suggesting that maturity status significantly affects total HR variability during recovery after high-intensity exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-881
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


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