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A disclaimer: when talking about gender, we mean biological sex
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a trusted health assessment method and a very personalized metriс that can help you understand your overall health and the state of your autonomic nervous system (ANS) which regulates most of the processes in your body. It is used by researchers, healthcare professionals, and pro athletes to track stress, recovery, systemic inflammation, and overall nervous system balance.
There is no figure that can be stated as a good or right HRV number. Your personal HRV will depend on many factors such as your age, gender, physical form and abilities, stress levels, overall health, diet, and many other factors. Research indicates people with a higher HRV score are usually healthier and function better than those with lower HRVs. That’s because HRV shows how quickly your heart can react and recover.
However, there are still some general HRV ranges that can be used for reference.
HRV visibly decreases between the second and third decades of your life and falls with age in general.
Women have higher mean HR with smaller RR intervals. A meta-analysis of 296,247 participants showed that HRV values for women tend to be lower but other studies demonstrated that the significant gender-related difference in HRV decreases with age.
Determining what constitutes a good HRV score is a complex matter, as it depends on many individual factors such as age, gender, physical form, stress levels, overall health, diet, and more. It is important that there is no one “right” HRV number that can be considered good for everyone.
However, a higher HRV score generally indicates a healthier autonomic nervous system, while a lower score can indicate increased levels of stress and poor health. HRV levels can fluctuate on a daily basis based on various factors such as stress, exercise, sleep, and more.
We at Welltory use lnRMSSD — the natural logarithm of rMSSD to calculate heart rate variability score and determine whether your body’s parasympathetic system is coping with stress well. If you’re looking for ways to improve your HRV score, then we’ve got you covered.
You can use your phone camera to measure HRV with the help of photoplethysmography (PPG) method, use Apple Watch, or choose from a dozen other supported fitness devices, gadgets and wearables.
Follow these simple rules to correctly measure HRV.
Ensuring that you are measuring HRV correctly with Welltory will help you understand the impact of stress and lifestyle on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Get daily tips based on your measurement results, monitor your sleep quality and hundreds of health metrics.
Welltory Team, 13 Feb. 2023