Ventilatory thresholds determined from HRV: Comparison of 2 methods in obese adolescents

S. Quinart, L. Mourot, V. Nègre, M. L. Simon-Rigaud, M. Nicolet-Guénat, A. M. Bertrand, N. Meneveau, F. Mougin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The development of personalised training programmes is crucial in the management of obesity. We evaluated the ability of 2 heart rate variability analyses to determine ventilatory thresholds (VT) in obese adolescents. 20 adolescents (mean age 14.3±1.6 years and body mass index z-score 4.2±0.1) performed an incremental test to exhaustion before and after a 9-month multidisciplinary management programme. The first (VT1) and second (VT2) ventilatory thresholds were identified by the reference method (gas exchanges). We recorded RR intervals to estimate VT1 and VT2 from heart rate variability using time-domain analysis and time-varying spectral-domain analysis. The coefficient correlations between thresholds were higher with spectral-domain analysis compared to time-domain analysis: Heart rate at VT1: r=0.91 vs. =0.66 and VT2: r=0.91 vs. =0.66; power at VT1: r=0.91 vs. =0.74 and VT2: r=0.93 vs. =0.78; spectral-domain vs. time-domain analysis respectively). No systematic bias in heart rate at VT1 and VT2 with standard deviations <6 bpm were found, confirming that spectral-domain analysis could replace the reference method for the detection of ventilatory thresholds. Furthermore, this technique is sensitive to rehabilitation and re-training, which underlines its utility in clinical practice. This inexpensive and non-invasive tool is promising for prescribing physical activity programs in obese adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-208
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • child
  • exercise test
  • obesity
  • physical education and training
  • time-domain analysis
  • time-varying spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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