Scientific Publications Related to Exercise, Training and Sports Coaching

The publications section presents studies where Firstbeat solutions have been exploited.  The different scientific contexts include for example occupational health care, sleep research, psychotherapy, behavioral research, and sports coaching. Firstbeat methods have been used for research in over 100 universities and research institutions across Europe, North America, and Australia.

Title Author Year Journal/Proceedings Study design & Population Category Physiological parameter(s) Insights on findings
Does Physical Activity Improve Cognition and Academic Performance in Children? A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials “Ferreira Vorkapic C, Alves H, Ajaujo L, Joaquim Borba-Pinheiro C,
Coelho R, Fonseca E, Oliveira A & Dantas EHM “
2021 Neuropsychobiology Review of scientific literature Review The study reviewed and analyzed the studies on acute and chronic physical activity interventions from RCTs on cognitive functions and academic performance of children and adolescents including studies using Firstbeat.
Effects of Different Training Interventions on Heart Rate Variability and Cardiovascular Health and Risk Factors in Young and Middle-Aged Adults: A Systematic Review Grässler B, Thielmann B, Böckelmann I & Hökelmann A 2021 Frontiers in Physiology, 12:657274 Review of scientific literature Review HRV This systematic review provided an overview of the effects of different physical training modalities on resting HRV and cardiovascular health and risk factors (i.e., baroreflex sensitivity, body fat, body mass, body mass index, blood pressure, heart rate recovery, VO2 max, and VO2 peak) in young and middle-aged healthy adults. Findings of training studies utilizing Firstbeat were presented.
Training-Induced Acute Neuromuscular Responses to Military Specific Test during a Six-Month Military Operation Pihlainen K, Pesola AJ, Helén J, Häkkinen K, Finni T, Ojanen T, Vaara JP, Santtila M, Raitanen J & Kyröläinen H 2021 International Journal of Environtal Research and Public Health, 18 (1), 215 Longitudinal follow-up design; male soldiers, n = 49 Applied use HR The study assessed acute training-induced changes in neuromuscular and metabolic responses during a high-intensity military simulation test (MST), performed in the beginning and at the end of a six-month crisis-management operation. Firstbeat was used for HR data analysis.
Monitoring Training and Recovery during a Period of Increased Intensity or Volume in Recreational Endurance Athletes Nuuttila O-P, Nummela A, Häkkinen K, Seipäjärvi S & Kyröläinen H 2021 International Journal of Environtal Research and Public Health, 18 (5), 2401 Intervention study; recreational subjects, n = 30 Applied use HRV Firstbeat Bodyguard 2 was used for nocturnal HRV monitoring a study examining the effects of progressively increased training intensity or volume on recovery and performance metrics of recreationally trained persons.
Official matches and training sessions: physiological demands of elite junior badminton players Sales KCG, Santos MAP, Nakamura F, Silvino V, Sena AFDC, Ribeiro SLG, Rodrigues JFC jr, Cabido CET & Mendes TT 2021 Motriz: Revista de Educação Física. 27 Experimental and observational study; elite junior badminton athletes, n = 12 Applied use HR; HR zones The study used Firstbeat Sports for evaluating the intensity of training and official badminton matches (international championship) in junior elite players.
Measuring Physical Demands in Basketball: An Explorative Systematic Review of Practices Russel JL, McLean BD, Impellizzeri FM, Strack DS & Coutts AJ 2021 Sports Medicine 51, 81–112  Review of scientific literature Validity The systematic review evaluated the methods and technologies used for monitoring physical demands in competitive basketball athletes including Firstbeat.
Monitoring Individual Sleep and Nocturnal Heart Rate Variability Indices: The Impact of Training and Match Schedule and Load in High-Level Female Soccer Players Costa JA, Figueiredo P, Nakamura FY, Rebelo A & Brito J 2021 Frontiers of Physiology, 12: 678462. Observational study; female soccer players, n = 34 Applied use HR; RR-intervals HR data during training and matches were recorded and analyzed with Firstbeat Sports, and sleep HRV data with Firstbeat Bodyguard 2 in a study exploring associations of training load with sleep and nocturnal HRV indices in high-level female soccer players throughout a 2-week competitive period.
Effects of high-carbohydrate versus mixed-macronutrient meals on female soccer physiology and performance Wynne JL, Ehlert AM & Wilson PB 2021 “European Journal of Appl. Physiology;
121, 1125-1134″
Randomized crossover study; Female soccer players, n = 15 Measurement HR Firstbeat HR monitors were used in a study evaluating the physiological and perceptual effects of pre-competition mixed-macronutrient and high-carbohydrate meals in collegiate female soccer players.
Physiological and Psychological Responses to Three Distinct Exercise Training Regimens Performed in an Outdoor Setting: Acute and Delayed Response Benítez-Flores S, Magallanes CA, Alberton CL & Astorino TA 2021 Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 6 (2): 44 Randomized crossover design; trained adults, n = 10 Applied use HR; HRV The study used Firstbeat Sports system for analyzing different HR metrics and HRV for comprehensive comparison of acute responses to three time-matched exercise regimens.
Heart Rate Variability and Physical Demands of In-Season Youth Elite Soccer Players Williams RA, Cooper S, Dring KJ, Hatch L, Morris JG, Sunderland C & Nevill ME 2021 “Journal of Sport Sciences, Volume 39,
2021, Issue 10″
Randomized controlled trial; adolescents, n = 36 Measurement HR Firstbeat Sports system was used for HR measurement when studying the metabolic responses to an acute bout of football and the overall and moderating role of physical fitness on these responses.
Effect of acute football activity and physical fitness on glycaemic and insulinaemic responses in adolescents Sánchez-Sánchez J, Botella J, Hernández JLF, León M, Paredes-Hernández V, Colino E, Gallardo L & García-Unanue J 2021 Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health Cross-sectional study; Youth soccer players; n = 17 Applied use RR-intervals; HRV Firstbeat Bodyguard 2 and Firstbeat Sports software was used for studying the associations between external load and nocturnal HRV.
The Effects of an Intensive 2-wk Resistance Training Period on Strength Performance and Nocturnal Heart Rate Variability Kaikkonen P, Hynynen E, Hautala A & Ahtiainen JP 2020 International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 15 (10): 1448–1454 Intervention; Young men, n = 13 Firstbeat Bodyguard was used to collect nocturnal HRV in a study exploring the effects of an intensive 2-wk resistance training period on the nocturnal HRV and strength performance of healthy participants.
Effect of football activity and physical fitness on information processing, inhibitory control and working memory in adolescents
Williams RA, Cooper SB, Dring KJ et al. 2020 BMC Public Health 20, 1398 Cross-over design; Adolescents, n = 36 Applied use Fitness level with multi-stage fitness test Firstbeat Team Sport System was used for the assessment of physical fitness in a study exploring
Test-retest reliability of TRIMP in collegiate ice hockey players
Ulmer JG, Tomkinson GR, Short S, Short M & Fitzgerald JS 2019 Biology of Sport 36(2): 191–194. Experimental study; Collegiate male ice-hockey players, n=12 Applied use HR; TRIMP The study explored the utility of the heart rate derived variable TRaining IMPulse (TRIMP) for assessing internal training load in ice hockey players and used Firstbeat Sports for monitoring HR and analyzing TRIMP.
Effects of Late-Night Training on “Slow-Wave Sleep Episode” and Hour-by-Hour Derived Nocturnal Cardiac Autonomic Activity in Female Soccer Players
Costa JA, Brito J, Nakamura FY, Oliveira EM & Rebelo AN 2018 International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, ahead of print Cross-sectional study; Athletes, n = 11 Applied use Training Load, RR-intervals The study used Firstbeat Sports to measure training load and nocturnal Bodyguard 2 measurements to assess recovery in Portuguese female soccer players. The study found that late-night soccer training did not affect HRV during estimated SWS or hour-by-hour, but it elevated heart rate during the first three sleeping hours.
Evaluation of occupational physical load during 6-month international crisis management operation
Pihlainen K, Santtila M, Vasankari T, Häkkinen K & Kyröläinen H 2018 International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 31 (2), 185-197. Experimental study; Soldiers, n=79 Applied use HR The aim of this study was to assess changes in soldiers’ body composition, stress biomarkers, physical activity and heart rate responses during a 6-months international crisis management operation. Firstbeat PRO was used to examine individual’s absolute and mean HR for 24-h period. During a calm nature of the operations subjects had no physiological signs of overload.
Effects of HRV-Guided vs. Predetermined Effects of Late-Night Training on “Slow-Wave Sleep Episode” and Hour-by-Hour Derived Nocturnal Cardiac Autonomic Activity in Female Soccer Players
Costa JA, Brito J, Nakamura FY, Oliveira EM & Rebelo AN 2018 International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance Experimental study; Portuguese female football players, n=11 Applied use RR-intervals; TRIMP The study explored the effects of late-night soccer training on nocturnal HRV and used Firstbeat Bodyguard 2 to measure sleep-time HRV and Firstbeat Sports to track training load with TRIMP metric. The study found that late-night soccer training did not seem to affect nocturnal HRV indices when analyzed for estimated slow-wave sleep episode or by hour-by-hour approach in highly-trained athletes.
“Behavior of external and internal loads in
the preparation of professional soccer
players in a competitive microcycle of the
Brazilian soccer”
Pereira J & Lopes M 2017 World Conference on Science and Soccer, Rennes, 31.5.- 2.6.2017 Cross-sectional study; Athletes, n = 21 Applied use Training Effect Firstbeat Sports was used to measure physical load during a one week preparation microcycle before an important match for the team. Training load was lower during practices than in the match.
“Physical and Physiological Demands of Recreational Team Handball for Adult Untrained Men”
Póvoas SCA, Castagna C, Resende C, Coelho EF, Silva P, Santos R, Seabra A, Tamames J, Lopes M, Randers MB & Krustrup P 2017 BioMed Research International, Vol. 2017, Article ID 6204603 Cross-sectional study; Adults, n = 15 Applied use RR-intervals The describtive study examined acute physical and physiological demands of recreational team handball using Firstbeat Sports system. Recreational team handball was found to have a positive effect on aerobic, anaerobic, and musculoskeletal fitness in adult individuals.
“Maximal heart rate differs between laboratory and field conditions among female athletes”
Coutinho C, Watson A, Brickson S & Sanfilippo J 2017 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 12(2), 386-395. Experimental study; Athletes, n = 21 Applied use RR-intervals Firstbeat Sports was used to measure heart rates in a study which explored if maximal heart rate varies between laboratory testing,
field testing, training, competitive matches and an age-predicted equation among female collegiate soccer players.
Effects of HRV-Guided vs. Predetermined Block Training on Performance, HRV and Serum Hormones
Nuuttila O-P, Nikander A, Polomoshnov D, Laukkanen JA & Häkkinen K 2017 International Journal of Sports Medicine Intervention study; Adults, n = 24 Applied use; validity Stress and recovery; HRV Firstbeat HRV-based Quick Recovery Test was used to guide endurance block training, and it was compared to predetermined training. The study found that individually HRV-guided training may provide greater endurance and neuromuscular adaptations and reduce the risk of overtraining.
High-intensity endurance training increases nocturnal heart rate variability in sedentary participants
Nummela A, Hynynen E, Kaikkonen P & Rusko H 2016 Biology of sport 33(1): 7-13 Intervention study; Adults, n = 15 IApplied use HRV Firstbeat method was used during night sleep to investigate the potential of HRV indices for evaluating the training load and training response of sedentary participants in high-intensity endurance training. Nocturnal HFP was found to be a useful method to monitor individual responses to endurance training.
Predicting and monitoring individual endurance training adaptation and individualizing training prescription: With endurance performance, cardiac autonomic regulation and neuromuscular performance
Vesterinen V 2016 Academic Dissertation. Studies in sport, physical education and health 248, University of Jyväskylä, Finland Longitudinal, experimental studies; Recretional athletes, n = 68 Academic dissertation HRV Firstbeat method was used to study usability of cardiac autonomic regulation in predicting and monitoring training adaptations, and individualizing training prescription. Findings suggest that resting HRV shows great potential as a practical tool for monitoring adaptations and individualizing training.
Nocturnal heart rate and heart rate variability based training load monitoring, a case study of an elite junior XC Skier during a Glacier Training Camp Mikkola J, Hynynen E & Nummela A 2012 2nd international Congress on Science and Nordic Skiing, 28-31 May, Vuokatti, Finland Case study; Junior athlete, n = 1 Applied use Stress and recovery; HRV Firstbeat method seems to be practical tool for assessing training induced stress over an athlete although recovery as well as HR and HRV responses are individual
Heart rate variability in prediction of individual adaptation to endurance training in recreational endurance runners Vesterinen V, Häkkinen K, Hynynen E, Mikkola J, Hokka L & Nummela A 2010 Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 23(2): 171-180 Longitudinal intervention study; Athletes, n = 28 Applied use HRV Firstbeat method was used to analyze nocturnal HRV which may serve as a useful method to assess individual adaptation to prolonged endurance training
A three year follow-up study of endurance performance and nocturnal HRV of an international level race-walker Hynynen E & Nummela A 2010 EA innovation awards Case study; Athletes, n = 1 Applied use Stress and recovery Regular nocturnal HRV analysis with Firstbeat method was utilized for international level race-walker’s training and it was found useful for assessing training and racing induced stress and an individual variation in recovery
Physical loading, stress and recovery in a youth soccer tournament Luhtanen P, Nummela A & Lipponen K 2007 VIth congress on science in football Cohort study; Junior athletes, n = 10 Applied use EPOC; Stress and recovery Firstbeat method was applied for soccer in assessing load of matches and training [by EPOC] and recovery during sleep [recovery index]
Heart rate and match analysis of Finnish junior football players Vänttinen T, Blomqvist M, Lehto H & Häkkinen K 2007 VIth congress on science in football Cross-sectional study; Junior athletes, n = 43 Applied use EPOC; VO2; Energy expenditure Match analysis and physiological analysis [HR and EPOC by Firstbeat method] was conducted for junior soccer players in different age groups revealing higher relative playing intensity in older age groups during a match
An evaluation of physical loading, recovery and stress in youth soccer Häyrinen M, Luhtanen P, Juntunen J, Hynynen E, Vänttinen T, Lipponen K & Heliskoski J 2007 Science for success II congress Cross-sectional study; Junior athletes, n = 18 Applied use EPOC; Stress and recovery The study showed that Firstbeat methods work well in team sports and the results revealed that the playing position and characteristics of the match affect significantly to EPOC values, which typically peaked during the first half of the match
Practical experiences from measuring exercise intensity and recovery state with heart rate monitoring in team sport Vänttinen t, Nummela A & Rupf R 2007 International Symposium Computer Science in Sport Cohort study; Athletes, n = 24 Applied use EPOC; Stress and recovery Firstbeat methods were applied into team sports [soccer] and found applicable for following-up of training, quantifying the impact of matches, optimizing preparation, and for teaching players to recognize their overall stress in life
A reliable and accurate measuring instrument for performance diagnostics and training control Wünch A, Schurack O & Schmidt W 2006 University of Bayreuth, report Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 17 Validity VO2; Ventilation, Respiration rate, EPOC Firstbeat method utilized in Suunto t6 wrist computer is appropriate for performance diagnostics and training control, and might highly contribute to successful training
Suunto t6 – ein zuverlässiges und genaues Messgerät zur Leistungsdiagnostik und Trainingssteuerung? Untersuchung zur Validität und Realibilität anhand von Labortests auf dem Fahrradergometer und Feldtests Wünch A & Schurack O 2006 University of Bayreuth, report Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 17 Validity VO2; Ventilation, Respiration rate, EPOC Firstbeat method utilized in Suunto t6 wrist computer was shown to be valid and reliable in laboratory and field tests for measuring physiological parameters
Examination of Suunto t6 regarding Validity and Reliability Wünch A, Schurack O & Romann M 2005 University of Bayreuth, report Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 17 Validity VO2; Ventilation, Respiration rate, EPOC Firstbeat method utilized in Suunto t6 wrist computer provides reliable values during a maximum stress test until exhaustion for ventilation, respiration rate, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure
Influence of increased duration or intensity on training load as evaluated by EPOC and TRIMPS Rusko H 2004 ACSM congress Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 8 Validity EPOC EPOC can give dynamic information on the training load and allows calculation of time needed for recovery i.e. decrease of EPOC to resting level
Pre-prediction of EPOC: A tool for monitoring fatigue accumulation during exercise? Rusko H, Pulkkinen A, Saalasti S, Hynynen E & Kettunen J 2003 ACSM congress Meta-analysis of 48 peer-reviewed articles; Adult, n = 32 in validation dataset Validity EPOC EPOC can be pre-predicted by using only heartbeat data during exercise