Purpose : The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the respiratory cycle and posture can modulate the autonomic nervous system. Methods : Thirty-two healthy men and women, aged 20-30 years, were enrolled in this study. We conducted 2-second and 6-second respiratory cycle with the subjects in standing, sitting, and supine positions, respectively. Their heart rate variability was measured in each position for both cycle lengths. Results : The low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio is derived from heart rate variability. In the 2-second respiratory cycles, the LF/HF ratios were highest in standing, sitting, and supine position in descending order. There was a significant difference in heart rate between standing and sitting positions (P<.005). In addition, there was a significant difference in heart rate between standing and supine position (P<.000). In the 6-second respiratory cycles, the LF/HF ratios were again highest in a standing, sitting, and supine position in descending order. However, posture was not found to make a significant difference in this case. Conclusion : Respiratory cycle and posture effectively modulated the autonomic nervous system. Further studies of the clinical application of these results should be conducted.
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