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The effects of Heart Rate Variability training on Emergency Workers

The effects of Heart Rate Variability training on Emergency Workers

Researcher: Dr Emmanouil (Manos) Georgiadis

The Central Nervous System (CNS) is relied on the activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) that relates to the Flight or Flight response and it also involuntary sets in motion a discrete, localized inflammatory response to thwart most pathogenic threats (Tracey, 2002). Every time our system is under attack (either internally or externally) the sympathetic nervous system is organising the secretion of cytokines (proteins linked to inflammation, hormones and local effectors.

The problem in our society is the numerous imaginative -or controllable- everyday invaders/threats. For example, our system is in constant attack by lifestyle factors like constant pressure to perform, pure diet, lack of sleep, physical inactivity and environmental pollutants. This results in the over activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the deactivation of the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) that results in chronic inflammation linked to Autoimmune Diseases, Depression, Neurodegenerative Conditions, Cancer, Metabolic Syndrome and premature ageing.

Emergency workers, are showing increased levels of stress during their everyday practice with multiple health issues emanating from such CNS reaction over time. Such a realisation requires interventions to reduce life stressors for reducing the activation of the SNS and help to support work-life balance. This study, launched in 2020, aims to train emergency workers to facilitate better balance in their CNS operation leading to a better quality of life.

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Electrocardiography (ECG) graph