Heart Rate monitoring

honglong1976

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
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UK
I love my apple watch but the heart rate monitor is poor. Taking a reading every 10 mins is pretty pointless. I walk home look at my HR, it's 70. I run home (without using the activity app) look and it's 70. I sit down, eat my dinner, it's 140.

I got a Fitbit Blaze. It records the HR every 5 seconds and 1 sec when recording an activity. The HR is much better in that respect.

Using the Blaze at the moment. Anyone else find HR annoying? Apart from that and the lack of sleep tracking. It's awesome!
 

honglong1976

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
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anything else use another device due to the Apple Watch HR problems? Garmin, Fitbit?
 

Newtons Apple

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anything else use another device due to the Apple Watch HR problems? Garmin, Fitbit?
Garmin Fenix 5 here and zero regrets. It is no Apple watch but it is nice to actually hear my iPhone 7+ notifications again. I still get notification on my Fenix and that was what I like the best about the AW. The HR sensor on the Fenix works for me no matter if tight or loose.
anything else use another device due to the Apple Watch HR problems? Garmin, Fitbit?

I use this and could not be more happy. HR sensor on the Fenix 5 works no matter if it is tight or loose.

The app gives you more information about your run that you could ever need.

Fenix 5.jpeg
 
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Mlrollin91

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Nov 20, 2008
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It might be possible that your watch is either too tight or too loose. This can cause it not to get a good reading. I typically don't have problems with workouts and getting my heart rate. Occasionally it does get stuck, but either pausing the workout or readjusting on my wrist will get it to go again.

Just incase you haven't read this yet:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666
 

honglong1976

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
1,168
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UK
It might be possible that your watch is either too tight or too loose. This can cause it not to get a good reading. I typically don't have problems with workouts and getting my heart rate. Occasionally it does get stuck, but either pausing the workout or readjusting on my wrist will get it to go again.

Just incase you haven't read this yet:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204666
Thanks. I always get a reading and it's accurate on the Apple Watch. It's just not frequent enough. It's usually every 5-10 mins. On my Fitbit blaze it's every 5 secs. I get 5 days with the HR on all the time as well so it's can't affect the battery that much.
 

Mlrollin91

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Nov 20, 2008
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Thanks. I always get a reading and it's accurate on the Apple Watch. It's just not frequent enough. It's usually every 5-10 mins. On my Fitbit blaze it's every 5 secs. I get 5 days with the HR on all the time as well so it's can't affect the battery that much.
Well if you are not running an exercise, its only suppose to be once every 5-10 minutes to reduce battery usage. When the watch first came out, it gave a reading every 5 minutes, but Apple cut that down to 10 minutes. I spoke with engineers for months before they finally confirmed that that was the new intended behavior.
 

ahostmadsen

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Dec 28, 2009
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Well if you are not running an exercise, its only suppose to be once every 5-10 minutes to reduce battery usage. When the watch first came out, it gave a reading every 5 minutes, but Apple cut that down to 10 minutes. I spoke with engineers for months before they finally confirmed that that was the new intended behavior.
I'm not convinced. Is there any official information? When I check the HR readings in the health app, it seems the watch measures at variable intervals (during non-workout). Sometimes there is 1-2 minutes between readings. Sometimes there is nearly 10 minutes. Without doing a quantitative analysis, it seems the watch determines the interval adaptively some way (perhaps based on activity?), and reads HR at least every 10 minutes.
 

ahostmadsen

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Dec 28, 2009
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But that doesn't say anything about the claimed 10 minutes. Again, when looking at the interval between measurements in the health app, it's always less than 10 minutes for me, sometimes 1 minute.

Anyway, the above is ambiguous. It says 'Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout the day when you’re still.' Just above they say that the watch measures heart rate continuous during workout. 'Still' may therefore be interpreted, based on that context, as 'not doing a workout.' It does not say: 'when you don't move.'
 

Mlrollin91

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Nov 20, 2008
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I'm not convinced. Is there any official information? When I check the HR readings in the health app, it seems the watch measures at variable intervals (during non-workout). Sometimes there is 1-2 minutes between readings. Sometimes there is nearly 10 minutes. Without doing a quantitative analysis, it seems the watch determines the interval adaptively some way (perhaps based on activity?), and reads HR at least every 10 minutes.
Yes. It's on Apple's support website. On my phone right now so I can't get it.

It's suppose to read it once every 10 minutes as long as your arm isn't moving about. Pretty much it only reads it while resting. This was a huge deal summer of 2015. There were dozens of threads and I had actually contacted Tim Cook's office about it and received a response.

I had contact with an entire team of engineers for over 2 months and then they finally said "oh that change was intential". If someone else could find the article it would be much appreciated. Otherwise I will later this evening.
 

Jon from HR

macrumors newbie
Apr 18, 2017
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Monrovia, CA
But that doesn't say anything about the claimed 10 minutes. Again, when looking at the interval between measurements in the health app, it's always less than 10 minutes for me, sometimes 1 minute.

Anyway, the above is ambiguous. It says 'Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout the day when you’re still.' Just above they say that the watch measures heart rate continuous during workout. 'Still' may therefore be interpreted, based on that context, as 'not doing a workout.' It does not say: 'when you don't move.'
I feel it takes a measurement when ever this is significant change in Heartrate, or when activity stops or starts, but that's just a shot in the dark. My :apple:Watch too records measurements at odd intervals.

Edit: As a side note, my measurements are hardly ever under 80 ppm. o_O
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
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Yes. It's on Apple's support website. On my phone right now so I can't get it.

It's suppose to read it once every 10 minutes as long as your arm isn't moving about. Pretty much it only reads it while resting. This was a huge deal summer of 2015. There were dozens of threads and I had actually contacted Tim Cook's office about it and received a response.
But perhaps that changed in later versions of WatchOS? Clearly it's a software thing.

Again, looking at the health app, it seems that watch measures at least every 10 min, but often much more often.
 

Jon from HR

macrumors newbie
Apr 18, 2017
15
3
Monrovia, CA
But perhaps that changed in later versions of WatchOS? Clearly it's a software thing.

Again, looking at the health app, it seems that watch measures at least every 10 min, but often much more often.
Perhaps we can confirm by comparing battery life usage between the different versions of WatchOS?
 

Mlrollin91

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Nov 20, 2008
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But perhaps that changed in later versions of WatchOS? Clearly it's a software thing.

Again, looking at the health app, it seems that watch measures at least every 10 min, but often much more often.
Ever since watchOS 1.1 this new system has taken place. It's all outlined in the support article. It's about 5-10 minutes depending on if you are moving or not. If it senses movement it will quickly take a reading so it's not lost.
 
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Newtons Apple

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The Apple Watch HR sensors must use a lot of power as I have Fitbit device that are much smaller that do your HR constantly. Only time my Fitbit would turn off the sensor would be about 30 seconds after I removed it to go to sleep.
 

TwoBytes

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Jun 2, 2008
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Fitbit does all day and night monitoring with a battery that lasts me a week.. Apple need to take notice of this for the AW4. If you do some heavy HIT workout where you all out run for 5 mins, I wouldn't want to use an AW to miss that hard work. 10 mins is a big window in HR monitoring.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
751
425
Fitbit does all day and night monitoring with a battery that lasts me a week.. Apple need to take notice of this for the AW4. If you do some heavy HIT workout where you all out run for 5 mins, I wouldn't want to use an AW to miss that hard work. 10 mins is a big window in HR monitoring.
As discussed, 10min seems incorrect, it is more frequent. Anyway, during workout Apple Watch measures continuously.
 

daflake

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Apr 8, 2008
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4,225
The wife is having the same issue with her AW. She also has a Garmin Fenix 3 and actually prefers it for workouts. The implementation of the heart rate monitor is just not that great if you are serious about tracking your workouts.
 

honglong1976

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 12, 2008
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As discussed, 10min seems incorrect, it is more frequent. Anyway, during workout Apple Watch measures continuously.
Yes, it's not always 10 mins.

I checked my heart rate in health. Here are how time between checks.

2 mins
10 mins
2 mins
16 mins
12 mins
18 mins
6 mins
8 mins
2 mins

Looks like it picks up the HR data depending on movement.

My resting HR with most apps using the Apple Watch is about 67-69, with the Fitbit it's 60-62. That's a big difference and I assume the Fitbit is more accurate due to the constant 24/7 monitoring.
[doublepost=1493365325][/doublepost]
Fitbit does all day and night monitoring with a battery that lasts me a week.. Apple need to take notice of this for the AW4. If you do some heavy HIT workout where you all out run for 5 mins, I wouldn't want to use an AW to miss that hard work. 10 mins is a big window in HR monitoring.
5 days of 24/7 HR monitoring. Apple Watch is has an incredibly high HR light. Maybe they should reduce the power to it.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,135
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Atlanta
But that doesn't say anything about the claimed 10 minutes. Again, when looking at the interval between measurements in the health app, it's always less than 10 minutes for me, sometimes 1 minute.

Anyway, the above is ambiguous. It says 'Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout the day when you’re still.' Just above they say that the watch measures heart rate continuous during workout. 'Still' may therefore be interpreted, based on that context, as 'not doing a workout.' It does not say: 'when you don't move.'
No it doesn't say 10 minutes but this is the 'official' word on how often it reads. And if you read the whole paragraph you see that Apple clearly indicates that there is probably not a hard 10 minute rule since you MUST be still for it to read according to Apple.

Apple said:
...Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout the day when you’re still....background heart rate ...Since Apple Watch ONLY takes this background reading when you're still, the time between these measurements will vary...
Also the "When you use the Workout app, Apple Watch measures your heart rate continuously during the workout." has a hyperlink (blue) that explains you must have the Workout app running and doing a workout for continuous HR reading while active. Here is after clicking the hyperlink.

Apple said:
Work out with your Apple Watch
The Workout app gives you progress updates during your workout and it lets you know when you reach your goal.


Start a workout....
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204523

EDIT: The reason :apple:Watch only takes HR readings while you are still is because in the medical/fitness/health industries your resting HR is the most important measurement. Since the :apple:Watch doesn't offer full time HR monitoring it is best to only take resting HR measurements (just like in a doctors visit or fitness assessment) to help determine problems like an elevated resting HR.
 
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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,475
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Ventura County
No it doesn't say 10 minutes but this is the 'official' word on how often it reads. And if you read the whole paragraph you see that Apple clearly indicates that there is probably not a hard 10 minute rule since you MUST be still for it to read according to Apple.



Also the "When you use the Workout app, Apple Watch measures your heart rate continuously during the workout." has a hyperlink (blue) that explains you must have the Workout app running and doing a workout for continuous HR reading while active. Here is after clicking the hyperlink.



https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204523

EDIT: The reason :apple:Watch only takes HR readings while you are still is because in the medical/fitness/health industries your resting HR is the most important measurement. Since the :apple:Watch doesn't offer full time HR monitoring it is best to only take resting HR measurements (just like in a doctors visit or fitness assessment) to help determine problems like an elevated resting HR.
Thank you for posting this. It seems they must have update the support document from the last time I read it when it actually gave a number. I guess they removed that and tweaked the reading times a bit, but as I mentioned earlier, it still only takes it when still or not moving.