Why HRV is important?

The heart beat forms one of the most important indicators of health. The simplest measure is the pulse rate, or the number of beats per minute. It is controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS), that part of our body that works automatically, making sure we breath, and our blood keeps pumping.

When our body experiences stress, the heart beats faster in response. As the stress alleviates, the pulse rate returns to normal. But even at a steady pulse rate, let’s say 60 beats per minute (BPM) the time between each beat varies. Measured in milliseconds (ms), instead of being the expected 1000ms between each beat, the inter beat interval (IBI) varies:

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The Healthcare Crises

Healthcare costs are rising at an unsustainable rate. In America they are already 17.9% of GDP. The other rich economies are on the same trajectory.

Yet even with their sophisticated healthcare systems, it is these same countries whose hospitals were overwhelmed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The data show us why.

The countries that suffered the highest mortality rates are those with the highest obesity rates. Conversely, Vietnam, the country with the lowest obesity rate also has one of the lowest Covid-19 mortality rates.

Of the people infected, 33% are asymptomatic. Many of the world’s leading athletes have had Covid-19: Novak Djokovic, Lewis Hamilton, Adam Yates, Egan Bernal. None needed medical treatment. All are still dominating their sports.

A physically active life-style is the route to solving the healthcare crises.

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Frequently asked questions

Some tips to get the most out HRV

What is the price of the HRV Health services?
The basic HRV Health services are free for non-corporate users. The premium services, including ECG readings, Poincaré plots, and reading interpretations are only available to subscribers. Read: Why HRV Health is free
Which heart rate monitor do I need?
The HRV Health Apps work with the Polar H9 and H10 heart rate monitors. The Polar H10 HRM is required to take ECG readings. Read: Which heart rate monitor should you get
Why do I need a chest heart rate monitor?
HRV is measured in milliseconds. Only chest heart rate monitors that use ECG technology can provides heart beat data at this level of accuracy. Read: Your heart is your personal pathologist
What do the HRV numbers mean?
There are a range of metrics that are derived from the HRV data. The most important figures are the rMSSD, the ratio, stress, and the resting heart rate Read: Understanding the numbers
How do I improve the HRV numbers?
Lifestyle impacts HRV figures. Exercise, relaxation, a health diet, and good sleep all have a positive impact on the metrics. Stress, poor sleep, poor diet, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and a sedentary lifetyle have affect the HRV resutls negaitively. Read: Improving the numbers
How do I take accurate readings?
The most accurate readings are obtained when you are close to your resting pulse rate. Measuring first thing in the morning is the best way to obtain the baseline. Ensure that you are comfortable. Avoid distraction: the news, emails and conversation will all impact the reading, usually negatively. Once you have established a baseline, feel free to experiment with other times of the day, always ensuring the the resting heart rate is a realistic proximation of the baseline. Read: Measuring HRV
How do I use the Poincaré plot?
The Poincaré plot should be cigar shaped, from bottom left to top right. Random reading points may be casue for concern. A highly concerntrated circle shaped Poincaré plot is an indicator of poor health and the existence a chronic condition that requires urgent medical attention. Read: Understanding the Poincaré plot
I am recovering from a serious medical condition. Can I use HRV to measure my progress towards recovery?
Yes. The steps towards recovery will display with improved HRV numbers. Sleep is crucial to recovery, as is exercise. A serious illness is a reminder of our mortaility, and the HRV numbers will reflect how seriously we take the warning. Read: Recovering from illness or injury using HRV
What is the purpose of the information that is required during registration?
The name is required as a courtesy for correspondence. HRV is age and gender dependent which the reason for the birthdate and gender. The email address is required for correspondence, and for sending to backups of your data. Read: Using the HRV Health Pro app
Where can I find the research backing up the HRV Health system?
The HRV Health system conforms to the HRV standards established in 1996. We have a web-page dedicated to the science behind our technology. Read: HRV Research
How do I know if I am overtraining?
Overtraining is a syndrome, and it shows up in the HRV results like an illness. Overtraining can have a long term impact on your ability to reach your goals. Look for the warning signs in your HRV results. Subscribers have access to recovery advisories, designed to optimize your training, and ensure that you avoid overtraining. Read: HRV and overtraining
How does HRV work?
Heart rate variability or HRV is the measure of your immune system. It is the measure of the interval between each heart beat over a period of time. (IBI) The greater the variability between the heart beat intervals, the healthier the immune system. Read: Your heart is your personal pathologist
This is a fascinating subject. What should I read to understand more?
We have compiled a list of articles that will bring you up to speed quickly. Read: HRV Health: what should you read?
How do I get started with HRV Health?
You need to have a Polar H9 or H10 HRM to take the readings. Once you have the HRM, install the HRV Health app, and register on the HRV Health platform. Then you are ready to start taking readings. It is important to establish the baseline of your health before interpreting the results. Take readings each morning for five days, and the metrics will give you an indication of your state of health. Read the articles about what the numbers mean, and how to improve them. Read: Starting out with HRV Health
My Polar H10 is not connecting to the HRV Health app. Why not?
The Polar H10 ensures that it is properly worn before it connects to the app. Read: Using HRV Health Android version 3
How do I fix problems when using the HRV Health apps?
There are a range of reasons that you may have problems getting the app to work, from not having proper Internet connect to not having the heart monitor on, of the battery being flat. We have detailed troubleshooting guides on the support page and in our article. Read: Trouble shooting the HRV Health apps
How do I get to understand HRV?
For new HRV Health members the amount of material appears overwhelming. We have compiled a list of suggested reading that will assist people who are new to the science to become familiar with how it works. Read: HRV Health: what should you read?
Are wearables an accurate substitute for measuring HRV?
Wearable devices usually adopt photoplethysmography (PPG), using the photo sensors in the device, rather than electrocardiograph (ECG) that is used in medical and strap based heart rate monitors (HRM). PPG is not as accurate as ECG. We have tested both, with some interesting results. Read: Using wearables to measure HRV
How do I use HRV to achieve peak performance in my exercise?
HRV has been helping elite athletes to achieve peak performance for the past couple of decades. At HRV Health, we have developed algorithms that assist athletes to achieve their best, and our tests prove that they are effective. The way you exercise, and types of exercise has a profound impact on your health, and this is reflected in the HRV Health metrics. Read: Exercising with HRV
Can I use HRV to reverse the ageing process
Age is a disease to which everyone eventually succumbs. Like most other chronic conditions, HRV can be used to monitor and improve your state of health. How well you age is up to you. Read: Ageing, exercise, and HRV
I have a problem with stress. What should I do?
Stress kills! The HRV Health app measures stress, and by following our recommendations, you can lower your stress levels significantly. Read: Stress and HRV


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