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General information on heartbeat and heart rate variability

Our hearts keep us alive and work tirelessly throughout our lives. It pumps the blood through our body, so that oxygen-rich blood penetrates all the parts of our body and oxygen-poor blood is enriched again in the lungs with fresh oxygen. But it also keeps everything moving, including the transport of nutrients, hormones, immune cells, etc.

It is easy to know that our heart is beating, you can feel your pulse or even hear it when you put one ear to the chest of another person. Since time immemorial, we have been studying and measuring the functions of the heart and measuring the heartbeat is essential.

Depending on the situation, our heart is able to regulate the heartbeat. When we sleep, it usually beats slowly and evenly, when we exercise, it beats fast and adjusts its frequency constantly. Depending on the creature, the resting pulse changes: only six heartbeats per minute for a blue whale and 1,000 heartbeats per minute for a shrew. We humans lie with approximately 60 heartbeats per minute in the lower range, infants have a faster resting pulse of approximately 130 beats per minute. With great effort, our heart can also beat at over 200 beats per minute.

Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to the ability to change the frequency of the heart rhythm. Even at rest, there are spontaneous changes in the time between heartbeats.

Our body has a multitude of regulatory mechanisms to change the heart rhythm. Two essential components are the sympathetic nervous system, which activates and accelerates the heartbeat, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which acts as a brake to slow down the heartbeat.

A healthy person constantly adapts the heart rhythm to current requirements. In addition to physical exertion, such as sport or physical work, psychological exertion such as stress also results in an increase in the heart rate. The heart rate sinks again when the strain is relieved and the body relaxes. In humans, heart rate variability ranges from 10 (low, a sign of stress) to 30 (high, a sign of relaxation).

The more our body is able to regulate the heart rate (the greater the heart rate variability), the healthier we are. If the heart beats only rigidly, a person is about to die.

The measurement of heart rate variability is a large field in cardiology and is used for extensive diagnostics. With the eSense Pulse, we want to focus on biofeedback training, i.e.improving heart rate variability. To describe the current state and progress of the training, the eSense app also provides the essential statistics and analyses of HRV.

We combine the measurement and feedback of heart rate variability in the eSense app with guided relaxation exercises and guided meditations and offer you an overall experience that goes beyond biofeedback. In addition to extensive feedback variants, you have the option of evaluating your measurements with many statistics, documenting your progress and exporting the recordings as CSV and PDF files. Your data belongs only to you! You have full access to the raw data.

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