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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 March;57(3):299-304

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06037-0


language: English

Bicycling for transportation improves heart rate variability in young adults

Henrique M. BUENO 1, Michelle SARTORI 2, Hidalina R. MACEDO 1, Ivana C. MORAES-SILVA 2, Federico ALETTI 3, Maria C. IRIGOYEN 2, Kátia DE ANGELIS 4

1 Human Movement Laboratory, Sao Judas Tadeu University, São Paulo, Brazil; 2 Hypertension Unit, Heart Institute, University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 3 Polytechnic University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 4 Laboratory of Translational Physiology, Nove de Julho University, São Paulo, Brazil


BACKGROUND: Physical activity has been considered an effective method to treat and prevent cardiovascular and metabolic disease. An important mechanism benefited by exercise training is the cardiovascular autonomic control, often impaired in cardiometabolic disease. Cycling used as a daily means of transport can be considered an interesting alternative to regular physical exercise practice. Therefore, this study intent to compare metabolic, hemodynamic and cardiovascular autonomic profiles of young adult men who were used to cycle for transportation (CT) with those considered insufficiently actives (IA).
METHODS: Body composition, blood pressure, glucose, total cholesterol and triglycerides were evaluated at rest. Heart rate variability was analyzed in time and frequency domains.
RESULTS: No differences were observed for body composition, blood pressure, glycemia nor lipids between groups. CT group presented resting bradycardia. Heart rate variability was increased in cyclists, as well as the parameters of parasympathetic modulation. Sympathetic modulation was reduced in CT group when compared to IA group. Additionally, positive correlations were observed between resting heart rate and RMSSD and heart rate variability, while heart rate variability was correlated with sympathovagal balance.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrated that bicycling regularly used as a means of transport is able to improve cardiovascular autonomic modulation, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

KEY WORDS: Exercise - Bicycling - Heart rate - Prevention and control

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