Aerobic exercise intensity can be controlled by palpation of the radial artery

Anselmo José Perez, Kezia Donadia Dias, Luciana Carletti


Heart rate (HR) during exercise has been used for the control of aerobic exercise intensity. Palpation is the most popular and accessible method for this purpose. The responses obtained in laboratory tests are used for field application and are suggested to be similar. The objective of this study was to correlate the HR measures obtained by palpation and with a heart rate monitor (HRM) in four sessions of aerobic exercise, and to compare the results obtained in the laboratory and in the field. Fifteen healthy young women underwent four sessions of aerobic training of 40 min each at a continuous load, including two sessions on a treadmill and two in the field (50-60% and 80-85% HRmax). During the sessions, HR was recorded minute-by-minute with an HRM (Polar Accurex) and measured at 10-minute intervals by pulse palpation. There were significant differences in ∆HR values obtained by palpation and with the HRM between exercise sessions performed on the track and in the laboratory. Strong correlations (r = 0.95) and moderate to strong (r = 0.73) correlations were observed between palpation and HRM in the four sessions. HR during exercise obtained by palpation was underestimated by no more than 5%, but there were no significant differences in mean absolute HR measured by HRM and palpation. For the same exercise intensity, similar results are obtained in the field and laboratory. In addition, HR obtained by palpation of the radial artery immediately after exercise can be used for the control of aerobic exercise intensity.


The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.