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.
Average heart rate variability chart (Based on Age)
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