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Influence of Horseback Riding and Horse Simulator Riding on Heart Rate Variability: Are There Differences?

1
Physical Activity and Quality of Life Research Group (AFYCAV), Faculty of Sport Science, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
2
Faculty of Sport Science, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
3
Facultad de Educación, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Talca 1670, Chile
4
Departamento de Desporto e Saúde, Escola de Ciência e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, 7000-727 Évora, Portugal
5
Comprehensive Health Research Center (CHRC), University of Évora, 7000-727 Évora, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(11), 2194; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9112194
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 25 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
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PDF [235 KB, uploaded 29 May 2019]

Abstract

This study aimed to compare the heart rate variability (HRV) in healthy young people while riding a real horse or a horse gait simulator. The sample consisted of a group of 23 healthy young adults aged 22.91 (2.37), who rode a horse for five minutes at walking speed and spent five minutes on a horse gait simulator, while their HRV values were being recorded. Furthermore, immediately after each protocol, the HRV at rest was also recorded to observe the acute effects. We used the paired samples t-test to compare between the HRV during the horse-riding and the horse simulator-riding activities, as well as the differences in the acute effects between both situations. The findings indicate that the HRV was lower when participants were riding the horse compared with the activity on the horse simulator. However, no differences were observed immediately after the two protocols. Therefore, we state that the sympathetic tone is higher while riding a real horse than while riding a horse simulator. These differences may be due to emotional aspects and not due to differences in the physical load, considering the absence of differences in the acute effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: horseback; heart rate variability; emotions; physical load horseback; heart rate variability; emotions; physical load
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Villafaina, S.; Cordón-González, C.; Collado-Mateo, D.; Fuentes-García, J.P.; Adsuar, J.C.; Merellano-Navarro, E.; Parraca, J.A. Influence of Horseback Riding and Horse Simulator Riding on Heart Rate Variability: Are There Differences? Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 2194.

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