Establishing baseline heart rate variability profiles for exercise prescription and health monitoring among Special Olympics athletes

The change in the time intervals between adjacent heartbeats is known as Heart Rate Variability (HRV). The HRV of a well-conditioned heart is generally large at rest, whereas low HRV has been associated with adverse outcomes/conditions, including congestive heart failure, diabetic neuropathy, depression, and hospital admissions. As beat-to-beat variation is desirable, there has been considerable interest in improving HRV in the general population but very little research attention among individuals with intellectual disabilities
This project will build on the existing data being collected by Special Olympics British Columbia (SOBC) during the Functional Fitness testing by adding two simple measures: heart rate monitoring and the Six-Minute Walk Test. The findings will help monitor the health of individuals with intellectual disabilities and help ensure safe prescription of exercise in this population.

Faculty Supervisor:

Viviene Temple


Laura St. John


Special Olympics Canada


Physics / Astronomy


Medical devices


University of Victoria



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