BACKGROUND: Changes in heart rate during rest-exercise transition can be characterized by the application of mathematical calculations, such as deltas 0-10 and 0-30 seconds to infer on the parasympathetic nervous system and linear regression and delta applied to data range from 60 to 240 seconds to infer on the sympathetic nervous system. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that young and middle-aged subjects have different heart rate responses in exercise of moderate and intense intensity, with different mathematical calculations. METHODS: Seven middle-aged men and ten young men apparently healthy were subject to constant load tests (intense and moderate) in cycle ergometer. The heart rate data were submitted to analysis of deltas (0-10, 0-30 and 60-240 seconds) and simple linear regression (60-240 seconds). The parameters obtained from simple linear regression analysis were: intercept and slope angle. We used the Shapiro-Wilk test to check the distribution of data and the "t" test for unpaired comparisons between groups. The level of statistical significance was 5%. RESULTS: The value of the intercept and delta 0-10 seconds was lower in middle age in two loads tested and the inclination angle was lower in moderate exercise in middle age. CONCLUSION: The young subjects present greater magnitude of vagal withdrawal in the initial stage of the HR response during constant load exercise and higher speed of adjustment of sympathetic response in moderate exercise.
Aging; Methods; Heart Rate