Scientists have revealed exactly what fishing for £30,000 can do to your body, as competitors in one of the closest Fish O’ Mania finals ever had their heart rates compared to those of top-flight athletes.
State-of-the-art heart rate monitors were fitted to 14 of the 16 anglers in this year’s Fish O’ Mania Final at Cudmore Fisheries in Staffordshire and the results have astounded experts as the heart rates of some of the competitors were similar to that of premiership footballers and cyclists.
The average resting heart rate of a healthy male can be anything between 50 and 100 beats-per-minute (BPM), but the monitors attached to front runners in this year’s five-and-a-half hour big money final saw their average heart rates recorded at 145 BPM.
The experiment was carried out by researchers at the University of Chester who discovered that when the eventual winner, Andy Geldart, and early front-runner Ashley Price were playing fish their heart rates soared up to 180 BPM - the same as those reached in sports such as athletics, football and rugby.
“All of the team were surprised by how high the competitor’s heart rates were, especially when they got a bite or were playing fish,” said Nick Dobbin of Chester University, who headed up the experiment.
“Obviously footballers are on the go for 90 minutes and are super fit so their heart rates are pretty high whereas anglers aren’t that active. But the big change came when the guys in contention were really under pressure which manifested itself in huge peaks in their heart rates.”
Fish O’ Mania winner Andy Geldart was also amazed by the findings. He admitted that even though the pressure of fishing a match of this magnitude was like nothing had ever experienced before, he had no idea he, and the other competitors around him, had heart rates compared to top flight athletes.
“This proves that just because we aren’t scoring goals or racing around a running track, it doesn’t mean that our sport doesn’t get the adrenalin and the heart pumping big time,” Andy told Angling Times.
The researchers also monitored the heart rates of the competitors in the Fish O’Mania International the following day whose heart rates were found to be considerably lower.
Key findings in numbers
- 180 – The highest peak heart rate (BPM) during the Fish O’Mania Final belonging to Ashley Price and Shaun Cooke
- 12.6 – litres of blood pumped out of the heart per minute with a BPM of 180.
- 90 – The lowest average heart rate (BPM) belonging to Kevin Dicks.
- 10 – Difference in percent between the Fish O’Mania finalists heart rates and the International Fish O’Mania competitors.
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