2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

Rhythmical Skeletal Muscle Tension (RSMT) Increases Heart Rate Variability: A Systematic Replication

Jacob P. Wacker*, Violett Springate, Andrew B. Zaheer, and Madison J. Sprung
Dr. Fred Shaffer, Faculty Mentor

Rhythmical skeletal muscle tension (RSMT) can stimulate the baroreceptor reflex and increase frequency-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV). The present study replicated the studies of Vaschillo et al. (2011) and Urban et al. (in press) in re-examining the effect of RSMT on selected HRV time-domain, frequency-domain, and nonlinear metrics. Forty-nine healthy undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of six different orders of 1, 6, and 12 muscle contractions per minute, separated by 3-minute buffer periods. Without receiving feedback, participants contracted their hands and feet at the prescribed frequencies while a Thought Technology ProComp Infiniti™ system monitored ECG, HRV, EMG, and respiration. The 6-contractions-per-minute condition produced the greatest increases in time- and frequency-domain, and nonlinear HRV, which is consistent with the Vaschillo et al. and Urban et al. findings. These data serve as further evidence that RSMT is an effective method by which HRV can be increased. 

Keywords: Psychophysiology, Heart rate variability, Biofeedback, Rhythmical skeletal muscle tension


Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Oral Presentation

Session: 18-5
Location: https://flipgrid.com/fc0c5b54
Time: 0:00

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