What is a "Normal" Heart Rate Variability (HRV)? / How Does my HRV Compare?

 

An individual’s highest attainable Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is determined by fitness, age, gender, genetics, health, and environmental conditions. 

Comparing HRV (Age, Gender, Level/Type of Athlete) 

Research has shown that multiple factors affect/influence an individual's HRV, such as:

Age: Younger people (under 25) tend to have higher HRV than middle-aged or older (60+) people.

"For the most part, HRV decreases abruptly as people get older. The middle 50% of people age 20-25 usually have an average HRV in the 55-105 range, while people between age 60-65 tend to be between 25-45." - from Everything You Need to Know About Heart Rate Variability (HRV) 

Gender: Males tend to have higher HRV than females. 

Athletic Level: Elite/professional athletes will have greater HRV than the average person (or those who participate in casual/recreational athletics).

Athletic Type: Within Elite level athletes, endurance (ex: runners) athletes trend towards higher HRV than strength-based athletes. 

However, it's important to remember that none of this is absolute.

Average heart rate variability chart (Based on Age) 

heart_rate_variability_chart_ms_by_age.png

While the HRV chart (above) shows what technically falls under the umbrella of normal HRV, determining "what is a good heart rate variability?" requires a bit more in-depth analysis.  And the answer? It varies. To understand why, read our Locker post: What is a Good HRV? It Varies For Everyone 


Related resources: Normal Heart Rate Variability: Average HRV by Age and Gender

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