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Short- and long-term reliability of heart rate variability indices during repetitive low-force work
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2741-1868
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9327-6177
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1443-6211
2015 (English)In: European Journal of Applied Physiology, ISSN 1439-6319, E-ISSN 1439-6327, Vol. 115, 803-812 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose Heart rate variability (HRV) is often monitored in occupational studies as a measure of cardiac autonomic activation, but the reliability of commonly used HRV indices is poorly understood. In the present study, we determined the variability between and within subjects of common HRV indices during a repetitive low-force occupational task, i.e. pipetting, and interpreted the results in terms of necessary sample sizes in studies comparing HRV between conditions or groups.

Methods Fourteen healthy female subjects performed a standardized pipetting task in the laboratory on three separate days within a short time-span (<2 weeks), and on one additional occasion six months later. A number of standard HRV indices were calculated in both time and frequency domains. For each HRV index, variance components were estimated between subjects, within subjects between occasions far apart in time, and within subjects between days within a two-week period.

Results We found that the time interval between repeated measurements did not influence the extent of HRV variability, and that the reliability of most HRV indices was sufficient for even small study samples (30 subjects or less) to be able to detect, with satisfying power (>0.80), a significant 10% to 20% difference in HRV between groups, and between conditions within individuals.

Conclusions We conclude that HRV can be used as a reliable and feasible marker of autonomic activity in occupational studies of repetitive low-force work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 115, 803-812 p.
Keyword [en]
Variability, Variance components, Repetitive work, Parasympathetic activity
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-17548DOI: 10.1007/s00421-014-3066-8ISI: 000351238200014PubMedID: 25471272Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84925506324OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-17548DiVA: diva2:747904
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2009-1761, 2011-0075
Available from: 2014-09-17 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Hallman, DavidSrinivasan, DivyaMathiassen, Svend Erik
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