Use of Sample Entropy to Assess Sub-Maximal Physical Load for Avoiding Exercise-Induced Cardiac Fatigue

Yu Han Lai, Po Hsun Huang, Tzu Chien Hsiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Featured Application: Sample entropy is applied to the analysis of physiological signals assessing sub-maximal physical load during exercise, and thus applied to sports science. Sub-maximal physical load (sub-max) training is optimal for athletes. However, few methods can directly assess whether training is sub-max. Therefore, this study aimed to identify metrics that could assess sub-max training by predicting maximal physical load, helping athletes to avoid the risks associated with maximal training. Physiological data were collected from 30 participants in a bicycle incremental exercise experiment, including the R-R interval (RR), stroke volume (SV), breath-to-breath interval (BB), and breathing rate (BR). Sample Entropy (SampEn) analysis was used to assess the complexity of the physiological data. BR increased with exercise time but could not be used to identify the sub-max stage; however, SampEn BB could effectively identify the sub-max stage (p < 0.05), as could the novel indicators SampEn SV and cardiac output (p < 0.01). This study also identified the threshold value of each SampEn value in sub-max, which can be used as a sports science indicator to assess the load of athletes. The results suggest that SampEn-based indicators can be used to assess sub-max and maximal physical load. These findings can be used as a guide for quantitative exercise healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3813
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • breathing
  • cardiovascular response
  • sample entropy
  • sub-maximal physical load


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