2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Rhythmic Skeletal Muscle Tension to Increase HRV: Are Wrist-and-Ankle Contraction Necessary?

Bashar Zaheer*, Melody Zakarian, McKayla Bogda, Madison Sprung, and Addie Godsy
Dr. Frederic Shaffer, Faculty Mentor

Although clinicians extensively use paced breathing at 0.1 Hz or an individual’s resonance frequency to increase heart rate variability (HRV), rhythmic skeletal muscle tension (RMST) is an effective alternative method. Studies have shown that RSMT performed at 0.1 Hz significantly increases HRV. The present disassembly study examined whether simultaneous wrist-and-ankle contractions are necessary to increase HRV. We randomly assigned 44 participants to different orders of 5-min trials of baseline, wrist, ankle, or wrist-and-ankle 6-cpm RMST, separated by 3-min buffer periods to reduce carryover. Compared with wrist or ankle RSMT, it produced greater values for four time-domain, one frequency-domain, and five nonlinear metrics. Wrist contraction was superior to wrist-and-ankle contraction for two nonlinear metrics and no time- or frequency-domain measurements. None of these results were mediated by respiration rate or order effects. Six-cpm wrist-and-ankle RSMT is a complementary exercise for increasing HRV when slow-paced breathing is difficult or medically contraindicated.

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


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 306-4
Location: MG 1000
Time: 2:00

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