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Phillip Ebrall


Heart Rate Variability, Consumer Wearable, Watch


Objective: To present a pragmatic narrative of the measurements of my heart rate variability (HRV) gathered over a 6-week period. I propose both a meaning and a role for HRV in the clinical practice of chiropractic.

Methods: A consumer-wearable was used to gather convenience recordings of HRV (cHRV) for 3 weeks leading up to a week in which chiropractic spinal correction was received, and then for 3 weeks after. Data management and analysis occurred via an electronic spreadsheet (Numbers, Apple).

Results: The weekly mean of daily means for 3 weeks following 1 instance of chiropractic spinal correction showed a chance difference to the weekly mean of daily means over 3 weeks beforehand. The variance (VAR) of cHRV measurements taken over any 24h period show a high value of VAR, as do the weekly day-by-day means.

Conclusion: The statistical mean of a gathering of measurements holds more clinical meaning than any single instantaneous measure. It is pointless to take a single reading of HRV in a patient at the time of consultation, whereas considering the mean value of a series of measures provides useful values that may be a marker of change associated with chiropractic spinal correction. The convenience of taking measurements of HRV by a consumer wearable must not overshadow the importance of a reliable method of gathering and interpreting the data it provides.


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