Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Sep;32(9 Suppl):S465-70.

Evaluation of heart rate as a method for assessing moderate intensity physical activity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996, USA.


To further develop our understanding of the relationship between habitual physical activity and health, research studies require a method of assessment that is objective, accurate, and noninvasive. Heart rate (HR) monitoring represents a promising tool for measurement because it is a physiological parameter that correlates well with energy expenditure (EE). However, one of the limitations of HR monitoring is that training state and individual HR characteristics can affect the HR-VO2 relationship.


The primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between HR (beats x min(-1)) and VO2 (mL x kg(-1 x -1) min(-1)) during field- and laboratory-based moderate-intensity activities. In addition, we examined the validity of estimating EE from HR after adjusting for age and fitness. This was done by expressing the data as a percent of heart rate reserve (%HRR) and percent of VO2 reserve (%VO2R).


Sixty-one adults (18-74 yr) performed physical tasks in both a laboratory and field setting. HR and VO2 were measured continuously during the 15-min tasks. Mean values over min 5-15 were used to perform linear regression analysis on HR versus VO2. HR data were then used to predict EE (METs), using age-predicted HRmax and estimated VO2max.


The correlation between HR and VO2 was r = 0.68, with HR accounting for 47% of the variability in VO2. After adjusting for age and fitness level, HR was an accurate predictor of EE (r = 0.87, SEE = 0.76 METs).


This method of analyzing HR data could allow researchers to more accurately quantify physical activity in free-living individuals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center