This study tested the hypothesis that an 8-week exercise intervention supported by mobile health (mHealth) technology would improve metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors and heart rate variability (HRV) in a population with MetS risk factors. Participants (n = 12; three male; aged 56.9 ± 7.0 years) reported to the laboratory for assessment of MetS risk factors and fitness (VO2max) at baseline (V0) and after 8-weeks (V2) of intervention. Participants received an individualized exercise prescription and a mHealth technology kit for remote monitoring of blood pressure (BP), blood glucose, physical activity, and body weight via smartphone. Participants underwent 24-h ambulatory monitoring of R-R intervals following V0 and V2. Low and high frequency powers of HRV were assessed from the recording and the ratio of low-to-high frequency powers and low and high frequency powers in normalized units were calculated. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance showed that waist circumference (V0: 113.1 ± 11.0 cm, V2: 108.1 ± 14.7 cm; p = 0.004) and diastolic BP (V0: 81 ± 6 mmHg, V2: 76 ± 11 mmHg; p = 0.04) were reduced and VO2max increased (V0: 31.3 ml/kg/min, V2: 34.8 ml/kg/min; p = 0.02) with no changes in other MetS risk factors. Low and high frequency powers in normalized units were reduced (V0: 75.5 ± 12.0, V2: 72.0 ± 12.1; p = 0.03) and increased (V0: 24.5 ± 12.0, V2: 28.0 ± 12.1; p = 0.03), respectively, with no other changes in HRV. Over the intervention period, changes in systolic BP were correlated negatively with the changes in R-R interval (r = -0.600; p = 0.04) and positively with the changes in heart rate (r = 0.611; p = 0.03), with no other associations between MetS risk factors and HRV parameters. Thus, this 8-week mHealth supported exercise intervention improved MetS risk factors and HRV parameters, but only changes in systolic BP were associated with improved autonomic function. © 2013 Stuckey, Kiviniemi and Petrella.
Stuckey, M. I., Kiviniemi, A. M., & Petrella, R. J. (2013). Diabetes and technology for increased activity study: The effects of exercise and technology on heart rate variability and metabolic syndrome risk factors. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 4(SEP). https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2013.00121