Apple Watch HR not accurate

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by fezzzer, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. fezzzer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #1
    While exercising my HR monitor shows varying heart rates from 40bpm to what it should be (140bpm) according to other equipment I use on the particular gym machine. Any reason for this?

    Sometimes I look it shows 40bpm or 60bpm then the next time it'll show something that I think should be correct, then the next time it will be another random figure. As a result my exercise calories burnt is completely erratic.

    This is a replacement unit, and the original one did the same.

    ps. I have no tattoos :)
     
  2. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #2
    What type of exercise?

    The AW generally does well for running. For cycling, I need to tighten the sport band one hole.
     
  3. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #3
    Well know fact that the AW HR feature gives mixed results. I can not tell you how many time my HR was BLANK on my AW while working out no matter how I wore the watch.

    If fitness is your priority, the AW may not be good for you. I went back to my FitBit Charge HR.
     
  4. dotnet macrumors 6502a

    dotnet

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #4
    Cardiac arrhythmia? That's exactly how I found out about mine.
     
  5. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    #5
    Personally I find it near on 100% accurate. I use it all the time for tracking my HR during my cardio sessions.
     
  6. fezzzer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #6
    It's for weight lifting, jogging and circuit training so a variation of exercises.

    Re cardiac arrhythmia- I measure my heart rate by feeling for my pulse so I know my heart is beating a lot faster, plus when I'm using a cross trainer or bike in the gym, that often tells me the right number (or at least what I Would expect to be the right number).
     
  7. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Weight bearing exercises can't be accurately measured any optical because of tissue constriction. Also HR is not an accurate indicator of effort or caloric burn in anaerobic exercises anyway.
     
  8. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #8
    +1 to above. You will need a chest strap for weight lifting and circuit training. However, it should be fine for jogging.
     
  9. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    Any quick movement/jerk of the arm will impact accuracy of HR sensor.
     
  10. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #10
    Apple Watch is not a medical device. Dedicated heart rate devices with chest straps are better, but they are not medical devices either. If you want diagnostic accuracy (spotting cardia arrhythmias, e.g.), ask your doctor for a Holter monitor.
     
  11. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #11
    Here's an overlay of my AW's optical HR track and my Garmin's chest strap data from a weightlifting workout on Sunday. The AW data came via an app called Heart Analyzer and is presented as a skinny line, peaking at 125 bpm.

    I wasn't able to scale the Heart Analyzer graph to match the Y-axis of the Garmin graph, but it really doesn't matter, because the data is so completely different.

    I'll also post screenshots of the workout from Activity and Garmin Connect. Somehow, despite the HR data being so different, the calorie count is pretty close.

    I may or may not get a Bluetooth HR strap for the AW. I don't care enough about data anymore to pore over it afterwards. I did this comparison only because I haven't done one in a few months.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #12
    We have seen this so many times that we know it is a real problem. I just cannot duplicate this ever other than maybe once or twice during an hour work out it will drop to 50 or spike to 160-180 which probably isn't true. My heart straps would I've used over the years did the exact same thing.

    I am attaching the graph for my interval hour run and hour weightlifting the past two days. I just wear the watch one notch tighter and I can't emphasize enough to review some of apples ads that show the model wearing the watch a good inch to inch and a half up the arm.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. ZebraDude macrumors 6502a

    ZebraDude

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    Naperville, IL
    #13
    what watch band do you have?

    The Sport Band is best for HR measurements.
     
  14. bulldoze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #14
    I don't use my Sport band for the HR feature but the few times I have I find it laughably inaccurate.

    It is not too bad on a treadmill but it will spend about 20% of its time in grey mode where it cannot get a signal or it will lag about 30 secs behind. so still telling me my heart rate is 160 when I have been resting for a minute.

    Took it out for a couple of outdoor runs last week and it was a total nonsense. Within 2mins of a very gentle 20min jog it was telling me heart rate was between 182 and 188. I was running as gently and easy as I could at about 10min/mile pace. Just for giggles I pushed myself to about 7:00/mile pace (still well within my capabilities) for about a minute and the watch shot up to 198 did this a couple of times with the same results.

    The watch would be more accurate if it ditched the sensors and just guessed.
     
  15. BlueMoon63, Mar 3, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016

    BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #15
    Where do you wear the watch on your wrist? Does it move, slide, attach right up against your hand? Do you wear it how Apple shows in their ads? I don't doubt you, but other than some cold days, my Apple Watch has matched exactly to my right arm with the Fitbit charge HR and numerous tests with heart straps both Bluetooth and with polar.

    I believe people with faults but if you are not following the pictures in ads, it is definitely not going to be accurate. I see way way too many people wearing their watches over the bone that sticks out on many peoples wrists or with link bands or nylon bands or loose all causing movement.

    Fitbit never failed for me but the Apple Watch was 99% accurate to the Fitbit always. Minus some cold days where I just start running without warming up.

    I can't be the only one who has no problem. I do lose a pulse a few times per hour during weightlifting but it is marginal for the overall numbers.

    Please know I am not doubting you just want to add options and know if you follow apple ads that show where to wear.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. bulldoze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #16
    I have worn it a number of ways. The most accurate way is as per the pics, so as a normal watch. I keep it perfectly tight.

    Maybe I have a faulty one? I don't know. To be honest it doesn't bother me as I have absolutely no need for the feature anyway. I only use the watch for time and notifications.
     
  17. 3568358 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Location:
    United States
    #17
    Make sure the watch is fit snug, but comfortably. I find that if you manually tell apple watch to check your heart rate, once the heart rate shows up, its still takes 10 seconds or so to change to the correct number.
     
  18. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    #18
    This subject is in various threads, but again the reason why the AW is not as accurate for HR data is it uses a light and sensor to "see" your pulse. I also understand the Fitbit uses the same technology.

    If you want more accurate and real time HR data then get a chest strap. There are various outfits which sell them in BT and work great with iOS and the AW.
     
  19. ZebraDude macrumors 6502a

    ZebraDude

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Location:
    Naperville, IL
    #19
    well, every morning I use a chest strap for my Nordic Track Recumbent Bike and at the same time I use my apple watch (sends to myfitnesspal and FitBit) and they are the same or 1 number apart each day.
     

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