The meaning of HeartRateVariability

The meaning of heart rate variability

Health in images and figures

HeartRateVariability (HRV) is a measure for the complete adaptability of an organism and therefore a measure for health. HRV consists of the millisecond-exact distances between the heart beats of a human being. The change of these intervals is a measure of the ability to regulate the Autonomic Nervous System.

The Autonomic Nervous System manages all essential functional processes in the human organism. The interaction between its two branches – Sympathetic Nervous System for performance and Parasympathetic Nervous System or Vagus for regeneration – can be captured and visualised by measuring the HeartRateVariability.

How does a HRV measurement work?

We measure HRV with the help of a chestbelt or little HRV recorder which is attached to your chest by two adhesive electrodes. Even with the chestbelt or recorder, you can still follow your daily routine – free time, sports, work, sleep – without interruption.

Immediately after the application, the measurement starts automatically. Even while recording (chestbelt-system) or after the end of the recording, the data is transferred to the computer via the integrated USB port (recorder-system). All teh results can be seen in the analysis portal.

Why should I measure for 24 hours?

HeartRateVariability offers essential information even during a short-term measurement of five minutes. Measurements of 24 hours allow for a dynamic view of the functional daily physiology of a human being and their adaptive-anticipative reaction pattern. The extent of the adaptability to stress can be deduced from regular, interdependent biological patterns.

What kind of results do I get?

Using a mathematical method, our software will transform the approx. 100,000 heart beat data of a 24h measurement into a diagram. The colour display of the diagram is similar to a fire. The more intense and dense the colours (blue, red, yellow etc.) and the higher the “flames” in the “LifeFire” (Lebensfeuer) blaze, the higher the HRV and therefore fitter and more vital the person is currently.

Short- and long-term measurements 95%
Time- and frequency-ranges 92%
Medical background knowledge 85%
Longstanding expertise in HRV 90%

Our Software

With every mouse click, our software provides detailed, statistically edited gender- and age-correlated results on all time- and frequency-ranges of HRV (min/max HR, avg. HR, Total Power, VLF, ULF, LF, HF,…) and all important graphics (HRV-spectrogram, “Lebensfeuer”, pulse curve, respiration, pulse-respiratory quotient, scatter plot, histogram, tachogram) including zoom functionality.
Using Click&See, activities can be analysed comprehensively and HRV data looked at any period of the measurement. Based on physiological regularities, the referenced algorithms of the software calculate over 100 results in the form of (traffic light) graphics and numeric figures and, if requested, an up to 50-paged PDF report per measurement. Our HRV analysis is constantly being re-developed, has a 6-way filter system and utilises a databank of more than 50,000 measurements.

In 1996, the Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology established guidelines for performing and analyzing HRV measurements.
Our software complies with these guidelines 100%.

(Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. Heart rate variability. Standards of measurement, physiologic interpretation, and clinical use. Circulation 1996; 93:1043-1065)

Technology & Data Safety

  • 19+ years of experience
  • Databank of over 40,000 measurements
  • 15+ years of software development
  • Continuous development (significance & user-friendliness)
  • 99.99% stability of available web services
  • Certified data safety
  • Multilingualism
  • Data upload & complete result in less than a minute
  • Worldwide access to analysis software

Usability & Additional Options

  • Simple input of profiles, activities, self-evaluations via activity app
  • Uncomplicated upload of all data in to the analysis portal (PnP, upload in less than 30 seconds)
  • Data analysis of different measurement devices (MegaEMG, Firstbeat, Garmin, Suunto, Polar, …)
  • Access to analysis data for clients and health care providers
  • Post, comment on and discuss measurements in the Autonom Health Community
  • Time saving & hard check through fully automated complete analyses

Features & Support

  • Low starter costs
  • Attractive pay-per-use or flat rate system
  • Analysis data released at the click of a mouse
  • Detailed statistical evaluation and documentation of measurement data
  • Referencing algorithms based on physiological regularities
  • Gender- and age-correlated results
  • Result datasheets (PDF) for all results
  • Comprehensive support (guides in print and digital form, help function, hotline)

State of Science


selected studies & publications on HRV

Since 1990, there have been numerous publications on HRV. It being the hot topic of science, there are a lot of research projects running at the moment.
Here you can find excerpts from more than 50,900 studies and publications.

  1. Vloet, T., Jans, T., Frey, A., Häußler, M., Vloet, A., Geissler, J., Suswind, M., Dobschütz, B., Frantz, S., Romanos, M. (2019). Mean Heart Rate and Parameters of Heart Rate Variability in Depressive Children and the Effects of Antidepressant Medication Zeitschrift für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und PsychotherapieVol. 47, No. 3.
  2. Aeschenbacher, S., Schoen, T., Dörig, L., Kreuzmann, R., Neuhauser, C., Schmidt-Trucksäss, A., Probst-Hensch, N., Risch, M., Risch, L. & Conen, D. (2017). Heart rate, heart rate variability and inflammatory biomarkers among young and healthy adults. Ann Med ;49(1):32-41. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2016.1226512. Epub 2016 Nov 12.
  3. Yamanaka Y, Hashimoto S, Takasu NN, Tanahashi Y, Nishide S,Honma S, Honma K. Morning and evening physical exercise differentially regulate the autonomic nervous system during nocturnal sleep in humans. AmJ Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol309: R1112–R1121, 2015. Firstpublished September 2, 2015; doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00127.2015.
  4. Prell, R., Opatz, O., Merati, G., Gesche, B., Gunga, H-C. & Maggioni, M. (2020). Heart Rate Variability, Risk-Taking Behavior and Resilience in Firefighters During a Simulated Extinguish-Fire Task. Frontiers in Physiology. Frontiers in Physiology, 11, 482. doi: 10.3389/fphys. 2020.00482.
  5. Chelsea da Estrela, MA, Jennifer McGrath, PhD, MPH, Linda Booij, PhD, Jean-Philippe Gouin, PhD. (2020). Heart Rate Variability, Sleep Quality, and Depression in the Context of Chronic Stress. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, XX:1.10. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaaa039
  6. Buchhorn, Baumann, Willatschek (2020). Heart Rate Variability in a patient with coronavirus disease.
  7. Hyun Joo Yoo, Julian F Thayer, Steven Greening, Tae-Ho Lee, Allison Ponzio, Jungwon Min, Michiko Sakaki, Lin Nga, Mara Mather & Julian Koenig (2018). Brain Structural Concomitants of Resting State Heart Rate Variability in the Young and Old – Evidence from Two Independent Samples. Brain structure and function 223(2), 727-737.
  8. Francesco Sessa, Valenzano Anna, Giovanni Messina1 Giuseppe Cibelli, Vincenzo Monda, Gabriella Marsala, Maria Ruberto, Antonio Biondi, Orazio Cascio, Giuseppe Bertozzi, Daniela Pisanelli, Francesca Maglietta, Antonietta Messina, Maria P. Mollica & Monica Salerno (2018). Heart rate variability as predictive factor for sudden cardiac death. Aging 2018, Vol. 10(2), 166-177.
  9. Hussein, A., Kumar N, A., Burbano-Fernandez, M., Ramirez-Gonzalez, G., Abdulhay, E. & de Albuquerque, V.H. (2018). An Automated Remote Cloud-Based Heart Rate Variability Monitoring System. IEEE Access XX, 1-10.
  10. Anderson, R., Jönsson, P. & Sandsten, M. (2018). Effects of Age, BMI, Anxiety and Stress on the Parameters of a Stochastic Model for Heart Rate Variability Including Respiratory Information. Proceedings of the 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies 4, 17-25.
  11. Laborde, S., Mosley, E. & Thayer, J.F. (2017). Heart rate variability and cardiac vagal tone in psychophysiological research – recommendations for experiment planning, data analysis, and data reporting. Frontiers of psychology 8, 213.
  12. Michael, S., Graham, K.S. & Davis, G.M. (2017). Cardiac autonomic responses during exercise and post-exercise recovery using heart rate variability and systolic time intervals -a review. Frontiers of physiology 8, 301.
  13. Morris, C.J., Taylor, E.P., Hu, K. & Scheer, F. (2016). Circadian misalignment increases cardiovascular disease risk factors in humans. PNAS 113(10), E1402-1411.
  14. Clamor, A., Lincoln, T.M., Thayer, J.F. & Koenig, J, (2016). Resting vagal activity in schizophrenia: meta-analysis of heart rate variability as a potential endophenotype. The british journal of psychiatry 208, 9-16.
  15. König, J. & Thayer, J.F. (2016). Sex differences in healthy human heart rate variability: A meta-analysis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 64, 288-310.
  16. Draghici, A.E. & Taylor, J.A. (2016). The physiological basis and measurement of heart rate variability in humans. Journal of Physiological Anthropology 35, 22.
  17. Baumert, M., Porta, A., Vos, M.A., Malik, M., Couderc, J.-P., Laguna, P.,  Piccirillo, G., Smith, G.L., Tereshchenko, L.G. &  and Volders, P. (2016). QT interval variability in body surface ECG: measurement, physiological basis, and clinical value: position statement and consensus guidance endorsed by the European Heart Rhythm Association jointly with the ESC Working Group on Cardiac Cellular Electrophysiology. Europace 18, 925-944.
  18. Roberto Sassi, Sergio Cerutti, Federico Lombardi, Marek Malik, Heikki V. Huikuri, Chung-Kang Peng, Georg Schmidt, Yoshiharu Yamamoto, , Bulent Gorenek, Gregory H. Lip, Guido Grassi, Gulmira Kudaiberdieva, James P. Fisher, Markus Zabel, Robert Macfadyen: Advances in heart rate variability signal analysis: joint position statement by the e-Cardiology ESC Working Group and the European Heart Rhythm Association co-endorsed by the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society. Juli 2015
  19. H. Schröder, A. Lohninger: Salutogene Effekte des Lachens und der Herzratenvariabilität – Lachen senkt die Herzfrequenz und erhöht die Herzschlag-Variabilität In: Praxis – Klinische Verhaltensmedizin und Rehabilitation, S. 146-156. 2013
  20. Stefanie Hillebrand, Karin B. Gast, Renée de Mutsert, Cees A. Swenne, J. Wouter Jukema, Saskia Middeldorp, Frits R. Rosendaal, Olaf M. Dekkers: Heart rate variability and first cardiovascular event in populations without known cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis and dose–response meta-regression. Mai 2013


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