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Average Heart Rate Variability By Age

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Improving Your Unique Hrv Score

Is Your HRV Good or Not?! Normal Heart Rate Variability By Age And Gender

While your HRV is specific to you and you alone, there are some factors within your control that can impact your score. These factors include your sleep hygiene , your nutrition , your stress levels, and your physical fitness.

Other factors impacting HRV are harder to control. This includes things like your age and gender, hormonal cycles, or stress from work or family.

While the goal with HRV isnt to make yours as high as possible, having more consistent HRV values from day to day can signal an enhanced ability to respond to daily stressors, Altini explains. There are a few ways you can make your HRV values more consistent, including staying active, eating well, and deep breathing techniques. Find more tips here.

Finally, keep in mind: Its important to experiment and see what works for you, your body, and your lifestyle, Altini points out. Improving our physiology takes time each of these habits might take several weeks to build and deliver benefits, but exploration will help you find whats best for your health.

Note that HRV charts include 99.5% of Oura members. The top 0.5% of users are truncated to cut remove extremely high HRV scores .

Can You Improve Hrv

If your HRV is low, you can take steps to improve your HRV through lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, stress management, adequate sleep, and healthy eating.

Understanding and monitoring your HRV over different points of time can help you determine how your nervous system is responding to different situations, thus giving you the information you need to develop strategies for keeping calm and performing your best under a wide variety of circumstances.

How To Check Your Heart Rate Variability

  • Electrocardiogram. Special wires are attached to your chest to monitor your HRV.
  • Apps and watch systems. Various companies over the years have launched apps and heart rate watch systems that can help you check your HRV, although the accuracy of these methods is still undetermined.
  • Chest strap heart monitors. If you want the most accurate reading of your HRV outside of an electrocardiogram, this is the best way to go. Chest strap heart monitors are more accurate than finger or wrist devices.

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What Does A Low Heart Rate Indicate

Healthy young adults and athletes often have heart rates of less than 60 beats a minute. In other people, bradycardia is a sign of a problem with the heart’s electrical system. It means that the heart’s natural pacemaker isn’t working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disrupted.

Health And Other Applications Of Hrv

Normative HRV Scores by Age and Gender [Heart Rate Variability Chart ...

Beyond using heart rate variability as a fitness metric, it also has many applications when it comes to our overall health and well being. Tracking your HRV can help you gain a better understanding of:

For example, if your daily routine is unchanged but your HRV drops, it may be an indicator of increased stress or oncoming illness. Or, if youd like to see the effect a new diet has on your body, the impact will be noticeable in your heart rate variability.

Also Check: How Does Heart Disease Affect The Nervous System

Study Limitations And Strengths

Our study has limitations. First, the cross-sectional nature of this study restricts causal inference. Second, due to the small number of subjects in the group above 60 years, this limits conclusions for this age group, but it can generate hypotheses by the patterns shown here. Third, there was a lack of frequency domain HRV measures for the Holter, which would confirm some specific patterns especially found on vagal HRV associated variables. However, we did a further analysis with a resting ECG subset that had time and frequency domain HRV measures. In addition, to avoid noise in the data, we displayed LOESS regression curves with data from Holter, as well as data from resting ECG. Furthermore, we excluded the well-known factors that affect HRV measures, and restricted our analysis to those reported as healthy. Finally, participants who underwent Holter and resting ECG did the exams in the same time period therefore, time-related measurement differences could be avoided.

Tips On Improving Hrv

Here are 5 tips scientifically proven tips to improving your HRV:

1. Exercise – Studies have shown that regular cardiovascular exercise will increase your HRV at any age for sedentary individuals. Another study has shown that well trained individuals using a HRV based approach instead of block periodization can increase overall performance. If youâre needing a structured workout plan, make sure to check out all the programs here.

2. Consistent ScheduleYour body will perform its best when you are on a consistent sleeping, eating, and exercising routine. The consistency will allow your body to be better prepared for novel stimuluses.

3. Supplements – Studies have shown that a deficiency in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D is correlated with lower HRV. There are promising studies indicating that Vitamin E, Magnesium, CoQ10, L-Theanine, and Omega-3âs could help increase HRV.

Because studies indicate lower HRV is associated with being deficient in vitamins, a good multivitamin may help with a higher HRV.

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How Do I Improve My Hrv Score

A high HRV score is tied to good overall heart health, so take steps to make sure youre keeping your heart in peak condition. Naturally, you should strive to eat healthily and exercise regularly. Along with your HRV scores, watch your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels to make sure youre in the healthy range.

Lastly, you should practice methods for coping with stress to keep yours at manageable levels. If need be, speak to a doctor about ways to get conditions like anxiety under your control.

Practical Applications For Utilizing Hrv

Everything You Should Know About Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

Firstbeat has developed ways of utilizing HRV in real-life conditions. The HRV data is turned into valuable and understandable feedback that helps to perform better, make correct training and coaching decisions, and improve wellbeing and health. Firstbeat Life is a professional-grade stress and recovery monitoring tool to promote health and well-being. Firstbeat Sports is a complete solution to optimize training load and recovery for sports teams. We provide researchers with easy access to highly accurate ECG-based heart rate variability monitoring for assessing physiological reactions, get to know our research offering.

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Factors That Affect Heart Rate Variability

There are a great number of things that impact your HRV. The figure below breaks them down into three categories: Training factors, lifestyle factors, and biological factors.

Some of the many things that can impact heart rate variability.

Training factors include the frequency and intensity of your workouts. If you go extra hard today, or for several days in a row, your HRV is likely going to take a hit. There are also many other choices you make each day that significantly affect your heart rate variability, ranging from what you put into your body, to the quality and consistency of your sleep.

And lastly, there are biological factors that are out of your control, like age, gender and geneticssome people are just born to have higher HRV than others.

Is Heart Rate Variability Like An Arrhythmia

Heart rate variability is a normal occurrence, and it isnt an arrhythmia on its own.

The normal beating of your heart is called sinus rhythm. When your heart is beating normally but the variability between heartbeats is greater than 0.12 seconds, this is called sinus arrhythmia. Heart rate variability can sometimes meet the criteria for sinus arrhythmia.

Sinus arrhythmia is usually due to breathing , which is part of a normal reflex of your heart and circulatory system. However, when sinus arrhythmia isnt caused by breathing, it may be a sign of another heart problem that does need assessment by a healthcare provider.

Read Also: How Does Smoking Relate To Heart Attack And Atherosclerosis

Median Hrv Across Oura Members By Age And Gender

Below, well see the range of HRV scores across Oura members by age and gender.

As this chart shows, the general takeaway is that HRV is much higher for younger people than older people. Multiple, population-based research studies confirm that HRV tends to decline with age. Some research suggests that this decline likely reflects the normal aging process.

Other studies show this decline in HRV may be less severe the healthier the person is. With the right lifestyle and genes, there can be a lower reduction or higher values because they had a higher HRV over their lifespan, Altini explains.

What Is A Good Heart Rate Variability Number

Heart Rate Variability and Why You Should Care

A good HRV number depends on factors like your age and overall health.

HRV ranges are not good or bad, they just indicate changes in your nervous system response, says Fruge.

Thats why its best to talk to your doctor about the best number or range for you. HRV is very personal and dynamic, so it is important to follow your own baseline and not compare yours to others, she adds.

Some people notice their HRV fluctuates dramatically throughout the day while others notice their HRV is relatively consistent.


HRV is personal and what might be a good number depends on your health. Therefore, its best to work with a healthcare professional to establish what a good HRV for you looks like.

Improving your HRV involves addressing both physical and mental health. Once you determine what affects your personal number, Fruge says you can learn to improve it.

According to Fruge, common lifestyle habits that may improve HRV include:

  • deep restorative sleep, with an average of 79 hours per night
  • daily physical activity
  • mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing for 20 minutes per day
  • making the time for self-care
  • minimizing alcohol, processed foods, eating late at night, and overworking


There are a number of ways to improve your HRV. These include better self-care, sleep, good nutrition, regular exercise, mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing.

If you notice any concerning patterns, make sure to talk to your doctor.


Also Check: What Is A Rapid Heart Rate

What Is The Average Hrv

Whats a good heart rate variability for women? Whats a good HRV for men?

Trick question! Theres not an optimal HRV for men, women, or even a certain age group. HRV is a highly sensitive, individual metric that varies from person to person, and can change daily, or even hourly.

HRV is highly individual, so you should compare your HRV to your own averages over time to gain a sense of whats normal for you, says Marco Altini, an HRV expert, data scientist, and Oura advisor. Plus, keep in mind that its normal to see daily and seasonal fluctuations in your HRV.

The best way to determine your normal HRV level is to use a wearable, like the Oura Ring, that measures your HRV in a controlled setting, such as overnight as you sleep, and establishes a baseline over a few weeks. That said, based on community data, Oura data scientists have found a range of normal HRV scores across Oura members, and we can see interesting trends across age and gender.

LEARN MORE: How Oura Measures Overnight HRV

When Should Hrv Be Measured

Harvard Health recommends checking your HRV in the morning after waking up. To do so, they suggest buying a chest strap heart monitor and using an app to analyze your data.

Try to measure HRV while youre at rest, not after exercising or any other activity that can significantly affect your baseline HRV reading. Do this a few times a week and note the results so you can track any changes.

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Heart Rate Variability And Sleep

Alicia Roth, PhD, DBSM

Alicia Roth, PhD, DBSM is a Clinical Health Psychologist & Staff at the Cleveland Clinic, where she specializes in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. She completed her doctoral training at the University of Florida, Internship at the Baltimore VA, and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic.

With modern technology, theres a near-infinite amount of minutia we can watch. We wait for patterns to emerge that can help us see ways to improve. For many of us,

With modern technology, theres a near-infinite amount of minutia we can watch. We wait for patterns to emerge that can help us see ways to improve.

For many of us, our lives have begun revolving around tracking our bodys processes. We track:

  • How many steps do we take each day
  • How long do we spend in each stage of sleep
  • The number of calories we consume in a day

One of the latest processes to measure is heart rate variability. This isnt a simple measurement of your heartbeat per minute. Instead, its a complex expression of how well your heart adapts to situations.

If youre inside a medical office, your heart rate variability is likely measured with an electrocardiogram. This is the heart rate test where numerous wires are hooked up to your chest to collect data. However, people interested in measuring their heart rate variability at home have numerous apps and chest strap monitors that can get the job done.

How Variable Is Heart Rate

Heart rate variability

Asked by: Miss Brenna Witting I

Heart rate variability is literally the variance in time between the beats of your heart. So, if your heart rate is 60 beats per minute, it’s not actually beating once every second. Within that minute there may be 0.9 seconds between two beats, for example, and 1.15 seconds between two others.

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Heart Rate Variability And The Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system regulates your HRV. The system is divided into two components the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions.

The sympathetic system is more commonly known as the fight-or-flight response. Meanwhile, the parasympathetic system is better known as the relaxation response .

More specifically, the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system increases cardiac output and decreases HRV to respond to stress like exercise or a threat.

When a threat or other stressor passes, the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system increases HRV and slows the heart rate to recover from a stressor .


The autonomic nervous system regulates your HRV. The sympathetic branch is responsible for decreasing HRV and the parasympathetic branch increases it.

How Much Attention Should You Pay Hrv As A Health Metric

While you’re encouraged to pursue healthy lifestyle behaviors, using HRV as your end goal may not be super helpful or motivating. In most cases, there’s so much that contributes to the heart rate variability in any one person, and “it’s hard to control so many variables in your life just to get your heart rate variability to improve,” Dr. Mo says.

Pursuing these healthy behaviors and measuring their impact based on other metricsâlike how far you can run without getting winded or what your anxiety or stress levels areâmay be more rewarding.

As cardiologists, Dr. Mo and Dr. Horwich both say they do not use HRV very much to determine what treatment a patient needs, as it isn’t recommended for use in clinical practice in cardiology at this present time.

“In my practice, I know that improving a patient’s diabetes or cholesterol or blood pressure means their general health is going to get better, so it’s not necessary to work towards improving HRV in addition to all of these,” Dr. Mo says.

If you already own a smartwatch that tracks HRV, and you notice it rising or falling over a long period of time, don’t hesitate to let your doctor know. If anything, discussing it with them will give you peace of mind.

Also Check: How To Get A Lower Resting Heart Rate

How To Improve Heart Rate Variability

Methods for increasing HRV include the following:

Intelligent Training. Dont overdo it and push too hard for too many days without giving your body an opportunity to recover .

Hydration. The better hydrated you are, the easier it is for your blood to circulate and deliver oxygen and nutrients to your body. Aiming to drink close to one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight each day is a good goal.

Avoid Alcohol. One night of drinking potentially decreases HRV for up to five days.

Steady Healthy Diet. Poor nutrition has adverse effects on HRV, as does eating at unexpected times.

Quality Sleep. Its not just the amount of sleep you get that matters, but also the quality and consistency of your sleep. Going to bed and waking up at similar times each day is beneficial.

Auto-Regulation. In general, trying to get your body on a consistent schedule is helpful. Your body does things more efficiently when it knows whats coming.

Learn More: 10 Ways to Improve Your HRV

Heart Rate Variability By Age And Gender Breakdown

Resting Heart Rate Chart

The Elite HRV population sample was further broken down into age and gender groups based on user input data to allow users to compare themselves to others within their same demographic group. The Elite HRV users are 13.9% females and 86.1% males.

As can be seen from the charts and tables below, HRV decreases with increasing age for both genders. To learn more about how gender influences HRV and why HRV decreases with age, see this post.

Chart 2 This chart shows Elite HRV scores statistics for 8,873 males over different age ranges. The data is presented as box plots that represent the medians, 1st and 3rd quartiles, and extreme values . There are also markers for means at each age range.

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What You Need To Know About Hrv

Before attempting to give any numbers that athletes and those interested in improving their fitness can use for comparison, we need to address two questions:

  • What is your personal situation? How old are you, what sex are you, are you a competitive athlete, age group/weekend warrior, an active person or someone who has been sedentary and is trying to improve their health?
  • Why does your HRV number matter anyways, and what is it that youre trying to achieve by tracking HRV trends?
  • For the first point, in order to determine whether your HRV is good, normal or bad, you need to be compared to a group of people of the same sex, similar age and training status. This is because average/normal levels of HRV vary by a factor of 10:1 or more depending on the group you are comparing to.

    To answer the second point, the two key reasons you should care about your HRV number are:

  • Changes in the HRV baseline correlate with changes in athletic performance and may even predict future performance changes following a training block
  • HRV baseline numbers tell a story about your prospects for healthy longevity. HRV measures the activity of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system , which decreases during aging, and dysfunction of the ANS underlies cardiovascular and other age-related inflammatory diseases, such as type 2 diabetes which is why it is such a great indicator of health.
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