Heart rate recovery from 1 minute of exercise in children and adults

Pediatr Res. 1991 Jun;29(6):575-9. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199106010-00011.


Previous studies demonstrated that the time required for oxygen uptake, CO2 production, and minute ventilation to return to baseline levels after 1-min bursts of exercise is different in children compared with adults. To test the hypothesis that the heart rate (HR) recovery time after exercise is also different in children compared with adults, we examined HR in 10 children (range 7-11 y old) and 12 adults (26-42 y old) for 10 min after 1 min of cycle ergometer exercise. Each subject exercised at work rates corresponding to 80% of the lactate or anaerobic threshold (AT), 50% of the difference between AT and maximal O2 uptake (delta), 100% of maximal uptake, and 125% of maximal uptake. Gas exchange was measured breath by breath. In adults, the HR recovery time increased significantly with work intensity as judged by the time constant of a single exponential curve fit to postburst-exercise HR [23 +/- 8 (SD) s at 80% AT, 55 +/- 16 at 50% delta, 74 +/- 13 at 100% of maximal uptake, and 83 +/- 20 at 125% of maximal uptake]. HR recovery time tended to increase with work intensity in children (16 +/- 7, 20 +/- 4, 23 +/- 7, and 27 +/- 9; for 80% AT, 50% delta, 100% of maximal uptake, and 125% of maximal uptake respectively), but to a much smaller extent, and the HR recovery time was significantly smaller in children in the high-intensity (above AT) range of exercise (p less than 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Time Factors