Apple watch heart rate sensor questions

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Mtblegend, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Mtblegend macrumors newbie

    Mtblegend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    #1
    Hi

    I have a apple watch sport 38mm
    Really enjoying it but I have a couple of questions regarding the heart rate sensor.
    In general I have no problem getting a reading if I use the glance feature and am still.
    But I am often getting inconsistent readings using the workout app. I play tennis and it struggles to take a reading and according to apple support it is the type of motion which is affecting it. Had anyone else experienced this? If I use the glance feature it usually takes about 15-20 sec to take a reading. Is this normal?
    Many thanks for your assistance
     
  2. parseckadet macrumors 6502a

    parseckadet

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #2
    How else is the watch going to determine you pulse rate unless it gives your heart some time to actually beat? Taking 15-20 seconds to determine pulse is standard practice.
     
  3. Mtblegend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mtblegend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    #3
    That makes sense, I just wanted to make sure that is was similar to others.
    Many thanks
     
  4. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #4
    +1 to the second post regarding time to get a HR from the glance. When you glance, it initiates a fresh HR reading which takes it about 10 seconds.

    The failure to get a reading during a workout is not normal. But it probably is related to tennis arm motion throwing it off. When I have a workout up in a run, it always shows continuous HR. However, I tried it while mowing the lawn, and it frequently struggled to show me HR while holding the mower handle. That sounds similar to your tennis experience.
     
  5. Mtblegend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mtblegend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    #5
    Many thanks for your comments
     
  6. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #6
    Takes at least 15 seconds if it measured with less time it would not be as accurate.
     
  7. birjuh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO, United States
    #7
    I have to echo the OP's concern and I hope I'm not imagining things. I got my AW in mid-July. For the past two weeks, using the Workout app and the elliptical, the watch doesn't seem to be measuring my HR until I glance and it takes a fresh reading. And this is where I think I am imagining that before 2 weeks ago, the AW seemed to be taking measurements more consistently in the same conditions so that a glance would show recent "# BPM, # min ago." The only thing's that have changed since then is that I've spent time in the sun and gotten tanner. No arm hair and I clean the watch sensor every night. I'll try restarting it and/or re-pairing it with iPhone to see if that helps.
     
  8. Mtblegend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mtblegend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    #8
    If you open workout app and just stand still does the heart rate function work. Mine will take a reading, but when i start moving around it then seems to struggle. I always tighten the band up before as well so its definitely not because its moving around on my wrist.
     
  9. Mtblegend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mtblegend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    #9
    I went out for a run today. I pulled the watch slightly further up my arm and it recorded 100s of heart rate readings as opposed to the 5 I got on my last run. Seems to be a solution.
     
  10. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #10
    I wear my watch for all workouts and even golfing and I wear it one notch tighter and a half an inch further up my arm than normal. Just seems to be the best for me. During a two hour round of golf it seems to lose the heart rate once or twice and takes about 15-20 seconds to come back but during that period it registers the last heart rate. Over two hours this is such a minor blip not even worth noting. I graph the workouts using a workout app and it shows the drops but they are insignificant overall. My heart rate strap would lose the heart rate much more than the watch has in 3 months of usage. Just seems that all of these devices can move or slide a bit - especially the more we sweat. Overall, I am shocked at how well the watch has performed
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Mtblegend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mtblegend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    #11
    Thank you for this information. Very helpful.
     
  12. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #12
    Glad to help. Here is the graph while golfing yesterday and I basically lost the pulse twice in two plus hours. I think it would be tough to find another product that would be much better and also let me measure distance to pins, track the calories, heart beat, exercise and give me all alerts and ability to reply without even touching my iPhone or even taking it out of my bag. I carry my clubs and you expect my heart rate to go up and down. IPhone 6plus never budged from 100% the entire time except when I use the golfshot app and even then it went down 10% in two hours.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. tekchic macrumors 65816

    tekchic

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    I wear my watch casually on the 3rd from smallest hole (using the small band) but when I run, I have to crank it down to the 2nd hole, otherwise it jiggles and occasionally locks because it loses contact with the skin.

    Have you tried making it a bit tighter when you play tennis?

    I've had one or two odd run workouts where the HR data was "sketchy" and not always reading, otherwise it's been fairly consistent, moreso after tightening the band.
     
  14. rcarter3636 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    #14
    This is my issue which I hope third party apps can fix during next update. As an advanced tennis player I can get my heart rate up to 160+ without going outside a six foot radius. Thus can burn many calories doing so. As it stands now calories burned now are calculated with the watch using the feet movement disregarding heart rate being raised by upper arm movement.
    I do hope a fix is in the works!
     
  15. acctman macrumors 65816

    acctman

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Georgia
    #15
    Apple needs to by FitBit, clearly they've figured out how to continuously capture your heart rate while doing any activity
     
  16. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #16
    You are right there! My Surge HR sensor is the best I have ever seen. Even worn loose the Surge or Charge HR does not loose a single beat.
     
  17. Mtblegend, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015

    Mtblegend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mtblegend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    #17
    Hi
    I work as a window cleaner which often means lots of standing in one spot but lots of hand movement. My calories burned are much higher than days when I am just walking around so I think your calories burned will take into account arm movement.
     
  18. kingc0bra macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    #18
    If fitbit can get a heart reading right away at all times, surely Apple can do so as well...the heart rate monitor in the apple watch is very poorly programmed
     
  19. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #19
    Yep, not sure if it is poor software or if the Apple sensors are not as good as the Fitbit.
     
  20. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #20
    Not sure what you mean by "right away" but try it manually. Get your watch and find your pulse then start counting and time for one second and you get 0,1,2 or 3. So your HR is either 0, 60, 120 or 180 only. You can't calculate your HR "right away" using such a limited data set and time unless you are using a medical electrocardiogram. In order to determine you MUST count a number of beats for an amount of time to calculate (usually 10 seconds minimum).
     
  21. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #21
    Unless it measures the time between beats in something less than one second increments... if it did that, then it could get an instantaneous HR reading. Maybe other HR sensors and associated programming use smarter, faster calculations.

    I just got a Scoche optical HR for my Garmin to replace my chest strap. The Scoche immediately gives a HR to the Garmin, and it looks pretty stinking accurate. I had my AW up as a control, and as soon as I turned on the Scoche, it matched the AW. (In the past, the AW has always matched my 910XT chest strap, so that has proven good.)
     
  22. *balikpapan* macrumors newbie

    *balikpapan*

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    #22
    Make sure your watch is just up your arm from your wrist bone so that the sensor sits snug on the skin. Shave a few hairs off if necessary. If not uncomfortable, tighten the strap a notch when doing vigorous exercise. Use a Sport strap because the non-sport straps are not ideal for heart monitoring.
     

Share This Page