Just Watching Hockey Can Double Heart Rate

Without even lacing up your skates, hockey can put some serious stress on your heart. That’s the verdict of researchers at the Montreal Heart Institute at the University of Montreal. Scientists at the institute took the pulse of fans during a hockey game and found that on average, their heart rate increased by 75 percent when watching on TV, and by 110 percent when watching in person. A news release from the institute reports that the 75 percent increase in heart rate found in TV viewers and the 110 percent bump from watching a game live are equivalent to the heart rate response that occurs with moderate and vigorous physical stress, respectively. Overall, the heart rate increased by a median of 92 percent (almost doubled) across all spectators.
“Our results indicate that viewing a hockey game can likewise be the source of an intense emotional stress, as manifested by marked increases in heart rate,” said senior investigator Professor Paul Khairy, MD, PhD, Montreal Heart Institute, University of Montreal. “The study raises the potential that the emotional stress-induced response of viewing a hockey game can trigger adverse cardiovascular events on a population level. Therefore, the results have important public health implications.”

One Comment

  1. Does that mean I need to work out a lot to watch the Bruins?

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