Heart Rate Variability and Muscle Strength in Young Male Adults with Sedentary Behaviour

Norsham Juliana*, M. A.A. Zolkafi, S. Azmani, I. F. Abu, N. A.Mon Sarip, N. A.Abu Yazit, M. F.Nur Islami Teng, S. Das

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Sedentary behaviour or physical inactivity has been relatively prevalent among young adults globally. Multiple studies pointed out that Malaysia has been listed as one of the Asian countries with high prevalence of inactivity. Objective: This study aimed to examine the heart rate variability (HRV) and muscle strength among young adults with sedentary behaviour in order to explore the early impact of this behaviour on their physiological and physical health. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study involved 185 healthy male adults aged 18-25 years. Participants’ height and body compositions were measured and their level of physical activities were obtained using Short Questionnaire to Assess Health (SQuASH). Those with less than 150 minutes per week of physical activity engagement were classified as sedentary. Their HRV was analysed as a determinant for early physiological change that was influenced by the sedentary behaviour. Muscle strength of upper and lower body was assessed via handheld dynamometer to identify the physical fitness associated to the behaviour. RESULTS: Among the participants that volunteered in this study, approximately 44% were classified as sedentary. Analyses revealed that those with sedentary behaviour had lower variability of their HRV and lower muscle strength as compared to those who engaged with at least 150 minutes per week of physical activities. CONCLUSION: The highlighted evidence of the difference on parameters of HRV and muscle strength with this behaviour suggested that these were the suitable parameters to be utilised in determining subclinical improvement on health with any intervention to curb sedentary behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalIIUM Medical Journal Malaysia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • autonomic function
  • cardiovascular
  • musculoskeletal
  • sedentary behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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