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Heart rate in professional musicians

Author(s): Iñesta Claudia | Terrados Nicolás | García Daniel | Pérez José

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 16;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background Very few studies have analysed heart rate (HR) with regard to music playing, and the scarce evidence available is controversial. The purpose of this study was to analyse the HR response of professional musicians during their real-work activity. Methods Sixty-two voluntary professional musicians (20 women, 42 men), whose ages ranged between 15 and 71 years old, underwent the test while playing their instruments in real life scenarios, i.e. rehearsals, practice and public concerts. The musicians carried Sport Tester PE4000 (Polar®, Finland) pulsometers to record their HR. In order to compare data from differently aged subjects we calculated their Maximum Theoretical Heart Rate (MTHR). Later on we found out the MTHR percentages (%MTHR) corresponding to the registered HR of each subject in different situations. The value of the MTHR for every musician was obtained by means of the 220 – age (in years) formula. Results Throughout the HR recordings, we have observed that musicians present a heightened HR while playing (in soloists, mean and maximum HR were 72% and 85%MTHR, respectively). Cardiac demand is significantly higher in concerts than in rehearsals while performing the same musical piece. The HR curves corresponding to the same musician playing in repeated concerts (with the same programme) were similar. Conclusion The cardiac demand of a professional instrument player is higher than previously described, much greater than what would be expected from a supposedly sedentary activity.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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