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Increasing Heart Rate Variability through Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Auf dem Foto ist das Cover des International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

A pilot study with daily ambulatory assessment examined whether it is possible to gradually increase heart rate variability (HRV) in healthy individuals (21 participants, M = 21.24 years, SD = 1.57, range 19 to 26) through regular exercises of average resonance frequency training (RFT; 6 breaths/min; 5 min each day) and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR; three times a week for 20 min). The effects were tested against an active control group using a linear mixed effect model with random slopes (day), random intercepts (participants) and an autoregressive error term. The special feature of this pilot study is that HRV was measured every day in an ambulatory assessment over 77 days, so that graduate long-term effects on HRV can be mapped. The results indicated that the PMR group significantly increased their HRV compared to the active control group. However, no effect was observed for the RFT group. Possible explanations for these results and recommendations for subsequent studies are provided.

Groß, D. und Kohlmann, C.-W. (2021). Increasing heart rate variability through progressive muscle relaxation and breathing: A 77-day pilot study with daily ambulatory assessment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(21), 11357;