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Open Access Short Report

The effect of competition on heart rate during kart driving: A field study

Kenta Matsumura12*, Takehiro Yamakoshi3, Yasuhiro Yamakoshi4 and Peter Rolfe56

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Adult Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan

2 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan

3 Graduate School of Natural Science & Technology, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan

4 Graduate School of Science and Technology, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan

5 Oxford BioHorizons Ltd, Oxford, UK

6 Department of Automatic Measurement and Control, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:342  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-342

Published: 9 September 2011



Both the act of competing, which can create a kind of mental stress, and participation in motor sports, which induces physical stress from intense g-forces, are known to increase heart rate dramatically. However, little is known about the specific effect of competition on heart rate during motor sports, particularly during four-wheel car driving. The goal of this preliminary study, therefore, was to investigate whether competition increases heart rate under such situations.


The participants drove an entry-level formula kart during two competitive races and during solo driving against the clock while heart rate and g-forces were measured. Analyses showed that heart rate values during the races (168.8 beats/min) were significantly higher than those during solo driving (140.9 beats/min) and rest (75.1 beats/min).


The results of this preliminary study indicate that competition heightens heart rate during four-wheel car driving. Kart drivers should be concerned about maintaining good health and developing physical strength.