2024 Student Research Conference:
37th Annual Student Research Conference

Does Combining Slow-Paced Breathing and Slow-Paced Muscle Contraction Increase HRV?

Jeffrey K. Laubscher*, Melody K. Zakarian, Gabe L. Durkee, and Haili M. Klusman
Dr. Fred Shaffer, Faculty Mentor

This within-subjects RCT examined whether combining slow-paced breathing (SPB) with slow-paced muscle contraction (SPC) increased heart rate variability (HRV). Data from 28 undergraduates (16 women and 12 men), ages 19-22, were analyzed in this experiment. The researchers randomly assigned participants to one of six orders of three 5-minute conditions separated by 3-minute buffer periods: SPB, SPB plus SPC, and resting baseline. In SPB, participants observed an animated pacing display to breathe effortlessly six times per minute. In the combined condition, participants observed the same pacing display and received verbal prompts to contract their wrists and ankles and to breathe effortlessly 6 times per minute. In the resting baseline condition, participants sat quietly without any instructions or prompts. Researchers visually confirmed compliance with muscle contraction and breathing instructions. Combined HR Max – HR Min was the only HRV measure that was significantly greater than the slow-paced contraction or resting baseline conditions.

Keywords: Slow-Paced muscle contraction, Slow-Paced breathing, Heartrate


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 404-3
Location: SUB Georgian Room C
Time: 2:30

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