The relationship between leisure-time physical activity and stress on workdays with special reference to heart rate variability analyses
Published inStudies in sport, physical education and health
The purpose of this study was to investigate how physical activity (PA), cardio- respiratory fitness, and body composition are associated with objective heart rate variability (HRV)-based indicators of stress and recovery on workdays. Additionally, the association of subjective self-reported stress with HRV-based stress was investigated. Samples of 81 healthy men (age 26–40 years), and 16 275 Finnish employees (6863 men and 9412 women; age 18–65 years) were assessed in the cross-sectional analyses. A sample of 221 overweight psychologically distressed individuals (36 men and 185 women; age 26–60 years) was examined in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. HRV-based stress and recovery were determined from the beat-to-beat R–R interval recordings mainly over 2 workdays in a real-life setting. The Perceived Stress Scale was used to assess subjective stress. The level of PA was evaluated using both subjective (validated questionnaire/interview) and objective (real-life R-R interval recording) methods. Cardiorespiratory fitness and body fat percentage were determined under laboratory conditions. Additionally, body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2) was used as a measure of body composition. The results showed a positive association of subjective stress with HRV- based stress. Higher PA, cardiorespiratory fitness, and favorable body composition were associated with a lower level of HRV-based stress. Cardiorespiratory fitness and favorable body composition were associated with better recovery during sleep. A higher initial level of HRV-based stress predicted a weaker decline, whereas a higher initial level of PA and HRV-based recovery predicted a larger decline in subjective stress during a 9-month study period among psychologically distressed and overweight individuals. The results indicate that there is an association between subjective and objective HRV-based stress measured in real-life. However, these two dimensions of stress react differently over the long term. Additionally, the results support the beneficial effects of PA on HRV-based stress. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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- Väitöskirjat