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Free Content Heart Rate and Daily Physical Activity with Long-Duration Habitation of the International Space Station

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Fraser KS, Greaves DK, Shoemaker JK, Blaber AP, Hughson RL. Heart rate and daily physical activity with long-duration habitation of the International Space Station. Aviat Space Environ Med 2012; 83:577–84.

Introduction: We investigated the pattern of activity and heart rate (HR) during daily living on the International Space Station (ISS) compared to on Earth in 7 long-duration astronauts to test the hypotheses that the HR responses on the ISS would be similar to preflight values, although the pattern of activity would shift to a dominance of arm activity, and postflight HR would be elevated compared to preflight during similar levels of activity. Methods: HR and ankle and wrist activity collected for 24-h periods before, during, and after spaceflight were divided into night, morning, afternoon, and evening segments. Exercise was excluded and analyzed separately. Results: Consistent with the hypotheses, HR during daily activities on the ISS was unchanged compared to preflight; activity patterns shifted to predominantly arm in space. Contrary to the hypothesis, only night time HR was elevated postflight, although this was very small (+4 ± 3 bpm compared to preflight). A trend was found for higher postflight HR in the afternoon (+10 ± 10 bpm) while ankle activity level was not changed (99 ± 48, 106 ± 52 counts pre- to postflight, respectively). Astronauts engaged in aerobic exercise 4-8 times/week, 30-50 min/session, on a cycle ergometer and treadmill. Resistance exercise sessions were completed 4-6 times/week for 58 ± 14 min/session. Discussion: Astronauts on ISS maintained their HR during daily activities; on return to Earth there were only very small increases in HR, suggesting that cardiovascular fitness was maintained to meet the demands of normal daily activities.

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Keywords: activity monitor; countermeasure; exercise; heart rate; spaceflight

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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