Our expert says:
Sorry for the delay replying - I've been in the North Carolina mountains without internet access.
To answer your question, no, not necessarily. The resting heart rate is relatively unimportant - it's often a function of the size of the heart, or the size of the chamber (bigger heart pumps less often at rest), or genetics, and doesn't impact too much on the difference between two individual's energy use.
Once you begin training, then, yes, it does start to have an effect. But again, one would have to be careful about comparing person A to person B, because they are anatomically and physiologically different. So here, the key thing is the relative intensity. At say 130 bpm, one person might be at 60% of maximum, another at 70%. The person at 70% of max will be burning more calories per minute than at 60%. Of course, they might not be able to train as long, and the overall result might be the same, but in principle, per minute, the harder you go, the more you burn.
And heart rate provides an indication of how hard a person is exercising, and that's why it's linked to metabolic rate and calorie burning. But there's a trap of comparing one person to another, because our hearts are not the same and the ceiling is different (max heart rate), the floor is different (resting heart rate) and so everything between is not really comparable.
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