London - Anglers put as much strain on their hearts during fishing competitions as Premier League footballers in a match, researchers have discovered.
Researchers from the University of Chester compiled the surprising results while helping Sky Sports give viewers an insight into the world of competitive angling during this year’s Fish ‘O’ Mania competition.
During the contest, fishermen wearing heart-rate monitors were battling for a £30 000 prize based on the weight of fish caught within a time limit.
Nick Dobbin, one of the project’s leads, said although the anglers expended less energy than footballers, the strain on their hearts was much higher than anyone expected.
“Once the readings from all anglers were analysed we found the average heart rate was 62 percent of maximum heart rate.
“By comparison, football players - who are considered to be very physically active during matches - will typically work at 85 percent of their maximum heart rate.
“When we looked at the peak heart rate during fishing as a percentage of an individual’s maximum it was typically around 83 percent, with some anglers reaching a maximum of 93 percent.
“These values are similar to Premier League footballers, who can sometimes reach up to 95 percent of their maximum heart rate during a match.”
During the contest, participants fight it out for a chance to win £30 000 and take part in a qualifying round where they can be competing against up to 300 other anglers for a place in the five-hour final.
In addition to this main prize, they are also competing for £1 000 for the biggest fish.
Each angler wore a heart rate monitor which sends data to a laptop to be analysed by the student team, which comprised sport and exercise sciences student Laura Isherwood and sports science master’s students Adam Yates and Sam Boyce.
This information was then translated into an on-screen graphic, illustrating to viewers how the anglers’ heart rates were responding to the pressures of the match.
The reporters also used the information during interviews throughout the competition.
Mick Brais, a producer at Sky Sports, said: “The team was brilliant and they provided some really good data to put on screen during our coverage, far exceeding our expectations.”
Dr Craig Twist, reader in applied exercise physiology at the university, added: “This was a great opportunity for our students to translate some basic science into a rather novel sporting environment, as a well as being involved with such a big name as Sky Sports.
“Yet again it shows the varied and exciting learning opportunities afforded to our students beyond the academic programme.”
The team is now considering similar opportunities across other sports such as darts, snooker and golf. - Daily Mail