Comparison of the Cardiovascular Effects of Extreme Psychological and Physical Stress Tests in Male Soccer Players

Ákos Móra, Zsolt Komka, J. zsef Végh, István Farkas, Gyöngyi Szilágyi Kocsisné, Edit Bosnyák, M. rta Szmodis, Roland Ligetvári, Éva Csöndör, G. bor Almási, András Oláh, Han C. G. Kemper, Miklós Tóth, Pongrác Ács

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Background: The purpose of our study was to compare the physiological effects of extreme physical and psychological stress tests in male soccer players, since these two types of stress apply to athletes with high performance requirements. Methods: A total of 63 healthy male soccer players participated in this study, all of whom underwent both of the tests. A physical stress test was carried out in an exercise physiology laboratory, where subjects completed an incremental treadmill running test to full exhaustion, and a psychological test was performed in a military tac-tical room, where subjects met a street offence situation. Heart rate variability (HRV) and blood pressure (BP) were recorded directly before, immediately after, and 30 minutes after the stress tests. Results: The majority of HRV indices changed significantly in both stress protocols. Inverse, significant changes (positive for the physical test, negative for the psychological test, p < 0.001) were found when comparing the alterations of HRV indices between the tests. Significant differences were found in the changes in systolic (p = 0.003) and diastolic (p < 0.001) BP between the test protocols, and also between the baseline and post-test measurements (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Both HRV and BP are sensitive physiological parameters to measure the impact of extreme physical and/or psychological stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number715
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate variability
  • Physical stress
  • Psychological stress

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