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Title:Heart rate variability and wellness monitoring in collegiate athletes
Author(s):Schaafsma, Anne Elizabeth
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
wellness monitoring
rate of perceived exertion
Abstract:Purpose: Heart rate variability (HRV) is the measure of time between heartbeats. It reflects autonomic nervous system modulation of the cardiovascular system, and is often used to track stressors acting upon the body. In the recent past it has been applied to athletes to track the influence of training and competition stress. Athlete self-report wellness monitoring is another tool used in the athletic realm to track the physical and mental states of athletes. The focus of this study was to investigate the relationships between HRV and measures of wellness including sleep, stress, soreness and rate of perceived exertion. A secondary aim of this study was to track the changes in these measures over the course of a year-long training and competition macrocycle. Methods: Female collegiate volleyball student-athletes (N=16) completed daily HRV monitoring along with an online wellness questionnaire. Data from two consecutive academic semesters, including spring training and the fall competitive season, were analyzed using SPSS v.22. Results: Greater hours of sleep, high levels of energy and lower rating of stress were found during the fall season compared to the spring. HRV was found to have negative relationships with rate of perceived exertion, soreness, and stress, while having a positive relationship with sleep quality and energy. Relationships between HRV and soreness and RPE were also found to reflect changes in the training and competition cycle. Conclusions: HRV is an effective tool to monitor psychophysiologic changes in collegiate volleyball athletes. However, HRV should be used in conjunction with other monitoring systems to provide a full appreciation for the individual’s response to training. HRV and wellness measures have also been shown to reflect changes in training cycles.
Issue Date:2015-04-23
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Anne Schaafsma
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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