Heart Rate as an Isolated Fitness Indicator: is it time to eradicate Age and Gender Considerations in the Burn Injury Patient Demographic

Dr Danika Jurat1

1Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch, Australia



To determine if maximum heart rate and subsequent recovery time to baseline correlates with participant fitness by undertaking a Steady-state Cycle Test in the healthy adult population. Fitness will be determined by a combination of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and participant’s maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) during the Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test. If indicative, the Steady-state Cycle Test will then be trialled in the burn injury patient population. The Steady-state Cycle Test is proposed due to:

  1. The submaximal nature of the test
  2. Ease of test administration

iii.            Ease of result measurement

  1. Reduction of heart rate confounders in a metabolic injury
  2. Removal of the subjective nature of self-reported fitness evaluation

If the sole measure of heart rate is a successful indicator of fitness, this would be a simple and appropriate test to administer to patients on admission to the Burns Unit, allowing guidance on management and projected recovery.

Design: Observational study

Setting: State Burns Unit of Western Australia, Fiona Stanley Hospital

Subjects: Healthy adults aged between 18 and 65 years.

Intervention: 6 minute cycle test at 75 watts at 50 rpm.

Main measures:

  • Maximum heart rate at the six minute mark of the Steady-state Cycle Test.
  • Recovery time to baseline post completion of the Test.
  • Fitness:

–              Self-reported as per the IPAQ.

–              Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) determined by the Astrand-Rhyming Ergometer Cycle test.


Hypothesized outcome: that participants who achieve a lower heart rate and faster time to recovery will have higher scores on the IPAQ and maximal oxygen uptake, indicating higher baseline fitness, regardless of age and gender.


Danika is a third year resident medical officer at Fiona Stanley Hospital with a keen interest in Plastic Surgery, particularly Burns.

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