Cardiological monitoring of sailors via offshore Internet connection

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2001 Dec;41(4):486-90.


Background: Sailing is becoming increasingly popular as a form of holiday recreation. The purpose of the present study was to profile the heart rate characteristics of non-professional crew members on a Mediterranean sailboat trip. Additionally, the practicability of transferring electronic data via the Internet while sailing offshore was also studied.

Methods: Seven healthy male non-professional crew members responsible for steering and navigating the boat during the observation period were studied using continuous electrocardiographic recording (Holter). Manually measured blood pressure, side effects and sailing data were taped half-hourly.

Results: While sailing we observed that the heart rate increased typically into the 120-170 beats/min range, mean arterial pressure remained stable between 80-90 mmHg. Heart rate changes and the incidence of supraventricular arrhythmias correlated with activity on board, boat speed and wind velocity. No subject showed ventricular arrhythmias during sailing. The minimal blood pressure changes correlated only with activity on board.

Conclusions: All these results indicate that sailboating on vacation, even in a non-professional status, does not promote disease-relevant changes in heart rhythm on trips in mild to moderate seas. Additionally, we were able to demonstrate that the online transfer of electronic data via the Internet from a sailboat offshore is possible, easy and inexpensive.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Ships*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric