The relationship between heart rate and mood in real life

D W Johnston, P Anastasiades, Derek Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Very little is known about the relationship between stress and cardiovascular responses in everyday settings. The three subjective states of Stress, Arousal and Time Pressure were measured every 30 min during a normal day in 32 healthy male volunteers and related to heart rate, which was measured continuously using standard ambulatory techniques. An index of the subjects physical activity was derived from the muscle activity of the thigh. Heart rate related to emotional state in very few subjects when time-series statistical methods, which take into account the autocorrelated nature of the data, were used. The relationship was further reduced when allowance was made for concurrent physical activity. The minority of subjects who exhibited a significant association between heart rate and mood variations were significantly more anxious, reported more anger, and had higher systolic blood pressures at rest than subjects who did not show a relationship between mood and heart rate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Arousal
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Tests


Dive into the research topics of 'The relationship between heart rate and mood in real life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this