Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

Last updated: June 9, 2019

What Does Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) Mean?

Maximum heart rate, or MHR, refers to the total number of beats per minute, or the sum of ventricular contractions in which blood is oxygenated and pumped throughout the body during strenuous exercise. This method serves as a benchmark for determining the relative health of any individual using a formula to calculate the extent at which maximal volume of oxygen is recycled by the heart.

Maximum heart rate calculation has changed some in recent years as the need to adjust the calculation for older individuals surfaced. A common formula for calculating maximum heart rate is: MHR = 208 – 0.7(age)


WorkplaceTesting Explains Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

Maximum heart rate, or MHR, is a dynamic process that measures the cumulative number of ventricular contractions or beats per minute in which blood reciprocally flows to and from the heart. Exercise is a pivotal determinant when measuring MHR because as the intensity of a workout increases, the heart rate will eventually peak and remain constant for the duration of activity. Metabolically, the heart is redoubling its capacity to pump oxygenated blood in proportion to the rapid development of carbon dioxide. It is possible for a maximum heart rate to reach a dangerously high number if a person is in poor condition or the exercise is too strenuous.


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