International Journal of Exercise Science 13(7): 1794-1806, 2020. Prior studies have examined the benefits of graduated compression garments (GCG) with regards to diverse exercise regimens; however, the relationship between GCG and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) has not been fully explored. The aim of this study was to examine Heart Rate Variability (HRV) trends—a proxy for ANS modulation—in response to donning GCG during a progressive overload training regimen designed to induce overtraining. Ten college-aged male novice runners were recruited for the 8-week crossover study. After three weeks of monitored free living, participants were randomized and blinded to an intervention group that donned a lower-body GCG during a two-week exercise regimen or a control group that donned a visually identical but non-compressive sham during identical training. No significant difference in HRV was calculated by the natural logarithm of the root mean square of successive RR-interval differences (lnRMSSD) between the 3-week free-living baseline and GCG intervention periods (P = 0.3040). The mean lnRMSSD was greater during the free-living phase and GCG intervention compared to the sham placebo (P < 0.001 and <0.001 respectively). With regard to the daily fluctuation of lnRMSSD, no significant differences were found between free-living and intervention (P = 1.000). Conversely, the intervention period demonstrated reduced daily fluctuation of lnRMSSD relative to the Sham placebo group (P = 0.010). These novel findings posit that post training use of a commercially available graduated compression garment in novice runners may be effective in counteracting some deleterious effects from overtraining while attenuating its effects on vagally-mediated HRV.
Hu, Jonathan; Browne, Jonathan D.; Baum, Jaxon T.; Robinson, Anthony; Arnold, Michael T.; Reid, Sean P.; Neufeld, Eric V.; and Dolezal, Brett A.
"Lower Limb Graduated Compression Garments Modulate Autonomic Nervous System and Improve Post-Training Recovery Measured via Heart Rate Variability,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 13
7, Pages 1794 - 1806.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol13/iss7/11