Last updated: June 18, 2012 at 15:32 pm

Heart Rate Variability

Resources for Individuals, Clients, Clinicians & Patients


Personal HRV

When Dr Stein [Stein PK: 103 Pub-Med papers] said to me in a casual conversation a year ago, March 2011, “Not much has been done for application of HRV for individuals”, I was disappointed but I quickly resolved to search for individual applications of HRV that would give me  self management and perhaps clinical opportunities.


Have you measured your own HRV and wondered if it was normal for your age? Do your measurements have meaning to you personally? Do you want to know if the care you are giving your heart through exercise, diet, targeted breathing, and self regulation is increasing your HRV, developing resiliency, or perhaps improving you cardiovascular health? Are you interested in self-management and being pro-active with your Doctors? These are questions I was asking as I proceeded to explore applications of HRV.

The Latest

This Web site will post the abstracts of the latest HRV studies from around the world [Pub Med] that I believe would be appropriate for individual, clients, clinicians & patients.

Share Your HRV measures

The site intends to encourage individual measurements and stimulate exchange of those measures, particularly those that can be compared to what the Pub-Med studies call “normal”.  It also hopes to encourage exchange of literature details, as well as personal HRV experiences e.g. when measure, medication impact, method of measure, software, logs, pulse sensors, ECG/EKG sensors, equipment, length of measure in seconds, supine or sitting, and resting or active, with emphasis on resting.  Click here to share your HRV measures.


We will begin with humans and eventually include horses and the interaction of HRV between humans and horses along the lines of HEAL. Before continuing with Humans and HRV, I will leave you one popular HRV horse article by Dr. Ross and her US Letter patent. What is at the heart of breakdowns in the racing industry: HRV. Click here for pdf file.

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The 1st 5 Minute Test Standard: Ages 9 to 50

Establish Normal HRV with < 20% SD: Age & Gender Specific

Just a few months ago ShailajaMoodithaya1 and Sandhya T. Avadhany from the department of physiology, India, gave us what normal HRV is for ages ~ 9 17 30 50 years of age for both genders for the 1st time in history, it seems to me. And that is exactly what we need to apply HRV individually.

Protocol for Test Preparation

For you or me to compare our HRV numbers with the reported results we would need to duplicate the protocol they have established: Normal breathing [not targeted] 5 minute long ECG, Morning test, overnight fasting, no smoking or caffeinated intake 12 hour minimum before, no strenuous physical activity about 12 hr before, Manual editing of artifacts, and ectopic beats pulses [like PAC, etc I presume], supine position, awake, resting, and peak detection of the R wave. Physical activity level was estimated using a validated physical activity questionnaire. I would have to be on the high end of moderately active 1.55-1.66 but not as high as the very active range > 1.75. Quality ECG and HRV software: Biopac systems Inc. Santa Barbara, Ca, sampling frequency 500 Hz. If I were testing myself I would be sure my arousal level [emotion] was mid range, ie. 5 in a 1-10 range and certainly not 1 or 10.

I would also check my blood pressure and if I was testing a subject, I would make adjustments if white coat blood pressure was detected [clinician white coat causes anxiety and higher blood pressure]. I expect these added preparations would reduce the SD standard from below the already excellent low values of deviation to deviations even less than 20 %.

This is the New Standard: HRV vs Age.

This then is a partial summary of the report results:

Standardized Normal HRV October 23, 2011 accepted

Age yrs, Male 9.4+ 0.32 17+ 0.38 29+ 0.38 48.3+ 0.6
SD 3 % 2 % 1 % 0.6 %
LF 1049 + 148 1001+ 187 638 + 118 325 + 66
SD 14% 19% 19% 20%
Total Power 2694 + 336 2072 + 306 1171 + 212 563 + 121
SD 12% 15% 18% 21%

Age HRV India 3-19-12.docx

Open Circle Points: India data. Very linear: Ages 9.4 17 and 29. Age 48.3 becoming asymptotic to X axis?

Solid Disk points: HRVtotal = -71 Age + 3200 a straight line of the form Y = MX + b

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This reduction in total power with increased aging is remarkably linear from 9.4 to 29 years of age. This simple equation, allows you to calculate HRVtotal for all ages 9 and 30 to about 6%:

HRVtotal = -71 Age + 3200

Age Eq Published HRV Values
9.4 2532 2694
15 2135
17 1993 2072
21 1709
25 1425
29 1141 1171

You cannot extend the linearity past 29 to 48.3 because the reduction with aging slows past 29. Notice that if you investigate the equation that HRVtotal goes to zero at 45 years.

So now for the 1st time, thanks to Shailaja Moodithaya1 and Sandhya T. Avadhany from the department of physiology, India, perhaps we can estimate what HRVtotal should be for each of us in this age range: healthy males. This seems to be the breakthrough we as individuals have been looking for that would help us evaluate our environments impact on our ANS [autonomic system].

Quality Study But Large SD

Determinants for Heart Rate Variability in a Normal Korean Population

Gyung-Mee Kim and Jong-Min Woo was very helpful but the standard deviation was more than the  HRV measure. So I couldn’t predict what my own HRV or my clients normal HRV should have been, e.g. Men Age 40-49 LF 400.31 + 947. [637 subjects] Men Age 40-49 Total Power 1,280.56 + 1.761.80 [1,181 subjects][5 Minute ECG tests]

J Korean Med Sci. 2011 October; 26(10): 1293–1298.Published online 2011 October 1. doi:  10.3346/jkms.2011.26.10.1293

PMCID: PMC3192339

Copyright © 2011 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

Similarly, “Standardized Tests of Heart Rate Variability for Autonomic function Tests in Healthy Koreans” , Sat Byul Park 2007 Ages 20 to 80 + was provided with 5 minute ECG HRV scatter plots with large standard deviations. But the Indian data still fits within the scatter plots, Fig.2 reasonably.

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Cleveland Clinic’s Spectacular Application of HRV

Most HRV has been applied to psychology and physiology.  Cleveland Clinic on the other hand has added cardiology to the field: see these 4 reports about their spectacular long term study.


Michael G. McKee, PhD
Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine Volume 75 • Supplement 2 March 2008


Christine S. Moravec, PhD
Director of Basic Research, Kaufman Center for Heart Failure, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine; and Associate Director, Bakken Heart-Brain Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine Volume 75 • Supplement 2 March 2008


Christine S. Moravec, PhD and Micheal G. McKee, PhD
Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine Volume 77 • Supplement 3 July 2010


Christine S. Moravec, PhD and  Michael G. McKee, PhD
Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine Volume 78 • Supplement 1 August 2011


Three videos selected to encourage individuals how to take care of their heart & maybe to reverse progressive disease.


Breathing Helps the Heart

1 Minute video: Michael G. McKee, Ph.D. Dept : Psychiatry, Psychology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Stress and Disease Implications for Biofeedback

Impact on salmon when they spawn: Death by Cartisol
14 Minute Video: Michael G. McKee, Ph.D. Dept : Psychiatry, Psychology and Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic

Strategies to Improve Heart-Brain Health

14 Minute Video: Christine S Moravec, PhD, Dept of Cardiovascular Medicine, Bakken Heart-Brain Institute, Cleveland Clinic

See how you might improve clinical status, Improve quality of life, and hopefully halting or even reversing disease progression, perhaps at the cellular, muscular, or molecular levels.

Don’t miss the comparison of inotropic response to Beta-Addrenergic stimulation to Biofeedback including HRV.

The growth of HRV Studies & Reports

If you believe or hope that HRV is indeed a window into the Autonomic System [ANS] and you want to be able to use some of the rapidly developing results for your personal use, then this web site is intended for you. If you search Pub-Med for “HRV” today you get 5194 papers. If you search pub med for “Heart Rate Variability” you get 14,442 hits. I will make an effort to select the Pub-Med papers that apply to this site and alert you to them, including those that are published electronically before the actual publication is released. Since many of you will be using your own resources for your personal research, I have found that the local Library systems will provide copies of the papers that I reference, without charge.

A graph of the growth of “HRV” research shows the number of Pub-Med papers  published each year since 1980. The year 2012, not shown, is “HRV”192 and “Heart Rate Variability” 332 up to March 29, 2012.

To search Pub-Med correctly use “HRV AND Year[pdat]”.  The search has been corrected. Notice the acceptance of the term HRV is 10 times more popular today than in 1980.

HRV Articles Published by Year

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Total HRV Articles Published

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Typical paper selected for this web site, a paper just released by Pub-Med.

An example of what I intend to provide in the future is this article posted by Pub Med Saturday March 9, 2012. Click on the title to take you to the article abstract on Pub Med.


The Effect of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback on Performance Psychology of Basketball Players.
Paul M, Garg K.
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2012 Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 22402913 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
2012 Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Department of Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India,


Coping with pressure and anxiety is an ineluctable demand of sports performance. Heart rate variability (HRV) Biofeedback (BFB) shall be used as a tool for self regulating physiological responses resulting in improved psycho physiological interactions. For further analysis, the present study has been designed to examine the relationship between anxiety and performance and also effectiveness of biofeedback protocol to create stress-eliciting situation in basketball players. Thirty basketball players of university level and above (both male and female) aged 18-28 years, who scored a minimum of 20 in state trait anxiety inventory, were randomly divided into three equal groups- Experimental (Biofeedback) group, Placebo group and Control (No Treatment) group. The BFB group received HRV BFB training for 10 consecutive days for 20 min that included breathing at individual’s resonant frequency through a pacing stimulus; Placebo group was shown motivational video clips for 10 consecutive days for 10 min, whereas No Treatment Control group was not given any intervention. Two way repeated measure ANOVA was applied to analyze the differences within and between the groups. Anxiety, coping self-efficacy, heart rate variability, respiration rate, and performance (dribbling, passing and shooting) at session 1, 10 and 1 month follow up were statistically significant in each group along with interaction of group and time (p < 0.001). Also, all the measures showed statistically significant inter group difference (p < 0.05). The findings are harmonious with existing data on HRV BFB as a strategy for dealing with anxiety. The Placebo group showed improvement in self efficacy and performance post training. The Control group showed no change in any variable except performance. The results of the study support the idea that HRV BFB lowers the anxiety and thus there seems to be a potential association between HRV BFB and performance optimization.

The End of this Edition of

That is enough for now…I plan to update this website as new HRV articles are posted to Pub-Med that relate to personal use of HRV. If you have individual HRV experience that may further the cause of personal application of HRV,  I hope you will post to this website.

-D Young


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