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Increased Heart Rate in Response to Viewing Hockey Games

Last Updated: October 06, 2017.

Viewing a live or televised hockey game is associated with heart rate response equivalent to vigorous or moderate physical stress, respectively, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

FRIDAY, Oct. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Viewing a live or televised hockey game is associated with heart rate response equivalent to vigorous or moderate physical stress, respectively, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

Leia T. Khairy, from the Royal West Academy in Montreal, and colleagues enrolled 20 healthy adult volunteers, half of whom attended live Montreal Canadiens hockey games and half of whom viewed televised games. Participants completed questionnaires and had continuous Holter monitoring. The intensity of the physical stress response was defined as mild (<1.33), moderate (1.33 to 1.83), or vigorous (> 1.83) based on previously published heart rate index thresholds.

The researchers found that during the hockey game, heart rate increased by a median of 92 percent, from 60 beats per minute at rest to 114 beats per minute (P < 0.001). During live versus televised games, the heart rate increased by 110 versus 75 percent (P < 0.001). Also during live versus televised games, the heart rate index (2.16±0.27 versus 1.73±0.15) and percent maximum predicted heart rate attained (75±8 percent versus 58±7 percent) were significantly higher (both P < 0.001). The fan passion score did not predict heart rate response (P = 0.753).

"Viewing a live hockey game is associated with a heart rate response equivalent to vigorous physical stress and a televised game to moderate physical stress," the authors write.

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