Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Respiratory Frequency during Exercise: The Neglected Physiological Measure

Nicolò, Andrea, Massaroni, Carlo, Passfield, Louis (2017) Respiratory Frequency during Exercise: The Neglected Physiological Measure. Frontiers in Physiology, . ISSN 1664-042X. (doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00922?) (KAR id:65825)


The use of wearable sensor technology for athlete training monitoring is growing exponentially, but some important measures and related wearable devices have received little attention so far. Respiratory frequency (fR), for example, is emerging as a valuable measurement for training monitoring. Despite the availability of unobtrusive wearable devices measuring fR with relatively good accuracy, fR is not commonly monitored during training. Yet fR is currently measured as a vital sign by multiparameter wearable devices in the military field, clinical settings, and occupational activities. When these devices have been used during exercise, fR was used for limited applications like the estimation of the ventilatory threshold. However, more information can be gained from fR. Unlike heart rate, VO2, and blood lactate, fR is strongly associated with perceived exertion during a variety of exercise paradigms, and under several experimental interventions affecting performance like muscle fatigue, glycogen depletion, heat exposure and hypoxia. This suggests that fR is a strong marker of physical effort. Furthermore, unlike other physiological variables, fR responds rapidly to variations in workload during high-intensity interval training (HIIT), with potential important implications for many sporting activities. This Perspective article aims to (i) present scientific evidence supporting the relevance of fR for training monitoring; (ii) critically revise possible methodologies to measure fR and the accuracy of currently available respiratory wearables; (iii) provide preliminary indication on how to analyze fR data. This viewpoint is expected to advance the field of training monitoring and stimulate directions for future development of sports wearables.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00922?
Uncontrolled keywords: breathing, effort, wearable sensors, training monitoring, athletes
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Louis Passfield
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 10:56 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:52 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.