Is anyone else getting really off heart beat readings from their watch?

Jacoblee23

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 10, 2011
1,125
354
My watch will randomly spike up to numbers like 187 whenever I’m not doing anything strenuous. I have adjusted it and I am still getting readings that aren’t correct and I am not feeling bad or having any symptoms. I know my heart rate does not get that high. It will usually have one peek like that throughout the day and the rest will be more normal. I do take medicine for sinus tachycardia but the max it has ever gotten was 120 (read in doctors office) and I felt really sluggish and could feel my heart beating fast. Has anyone had strange readings like this? It happens almost every day.
 

Dobbel

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2018
30
24
Netherlands
It does happen when the strap is too loose and “stray light” peeps under the watch.

Try making the strap tighter and let us know
 

TechDiva

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2014
365
150
SouthEastern United States
I’ve been noticing that as well. I have an AW3 and have had it since Oct. 2017. It seems like they didn’t start until about 2 watch os updates ago (not the last one but the one before that).
 

Beards

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2014
946
380
Derbyshire UK
I have noticed recently my ‘HeartWatch’ app notifying me when it picks up a low heartrate under 45bpm. Under normal circumstances my resting rate is 55-60bpm.
I never wear my watch loose so always assumed it is either an issue with the watch/software or me.
Until today I always thought it was I.
However, after reading this topic maybe that is now not the case.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,201
1,221
East Coast
This has happened on my S2 since the beginning. I just chalk it up to how Apple handles "rouge" readings. I think Apple just takes every reading as is and doesn't attempt any filtering of obviously bad data. No big deal as they're easy to find and delete (for the OCD types among us).

Just note that I've experienced this type of bad data with every HRM I've owned, which is 3. I've owned 2 different Polar HR Straps and the Apple Watch. All have typically recorded inaccurate data randomly. It's more of a nuisance on the Polar straps as they record 6 readings per second, so if you wanted to delete a second of bad data, you have to delete six readings.
 

Jak30022

macrumors newbie
Feb 3, 2020
2
0
I have had the same issue with my new series 5 watch. I can get a resting reading of 50bpm then a random spike to over 100 bpm and a return to 50 bpm in less than a second. According to Apple engineers, there is a problem but it hasn’t been identified as a design flaw or a software issue. Either way it makes any heart reading suspect and I question its accuracy. If this app’s accuracy is off, it makes me question the reliability of other readings from other apps. Quite frustrating..
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68020
Nov 10, 2018
2,215
2,063
I have had the same issue with my new series 5 watch. I can get a resting reading of 50bpm then a random spike to over 100 bpm and a return to 50 bpm in less than a second. According to Apple engineers, there is a problem but it hasn’t been identified as a design flaw or a software issue. Either way it makes any heart reading suspect and I question its accuracy. If this app’s accuracy is off, it makes me question the reliability of other readings from other apps. Quite frustrating..
I've noticed when I measure my heartbeat sometimes the first measurement is really high but then it jumps back down to the "real" number almost immediately and that stays consistent. I agree it's frustrating.
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2013
674
761
My watch will randomly spike up to numbers like 187 whenever I’m not doing anything strenuous. I have adjusted it and I am still getting readings that aren’t correct and I am not feeling bad or having any symptoms. I know my heart rate does not get that high. It will usually have one peek like that throughout the day and the rest will be more normal. I do take medicine for sinus tachycardia but the max it has ever gotten was 120 (read in doctors office) and I felt really sluggish and could feel my heart beating fast. Has anyone had strange readings like this? It happens almost every day.
Yes I have been having similar problems.
I noticed (looking at the history on the phone) that from time to time my watch would record incidents when my HR was as high as 205. These were not single spikes but at time they appeared to last 2, 3 minutes. Like you I was completely without any symptoms. I saw a GP with referred me to the cardiology department. Many tests later (including a week long Holter monitor) we concluded that the watch was making these readings up somehow. By sheer luck one high recording happened at the same time as I was wearing the Holter monitor which didn’t pick up anything abnormal. There is a condition called Super ventricular tachicardia (SVT) that could cause the HR to spike as high as that without any symptoms. There are tales on the internet of people discovering that they have SVT thanks to the Apple Watch, so you have to decide for yourself if it is worthwhile doing further tests. However if you don’t have any symptoms keep in mind that it could well be just the watch playing up so, if you do decide to get tested don’t stress too much.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,201
1,221
East Coast
Haven't been on this thread in a while.

I've always wondered how the Apple Watch would catch the legitimate random high spikes. My AW (Series 2) takes a HR reading every 5 to 10 minutes. If a spike only lasts a couple of seconds, the odds of recording that spike are very slim. And even if it did catch the spike, I wonder if most folks would ignore it if the surrounding readings are well within range.

Do the newer Apple Watches record HR readings more often? Perhaps every 6 seconds or so? I recall that that Fitbits from 10 years ago would record every second, but those watches didn't do that much more than tell time and record HR.
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2013
674
761
Haven't been on this thread in a while.

I've always wondered how the Apple Watch would catch the legitimate random high spikes. My AW (Series 2) takes a HR reading every 5 to 10 minutes. If a spike only lasts a couple of seconds, the odds of recording that spike are very slim. And even if it did catch the spike, I wonder if most folks would ignore it if the surrounding readings are well within range.

Do the newer Apple Watches record HR readings more often? Perhaps every 6 seconds or so? I recall that that Fitbits from 10 years ago would record every second, but those watches didn't do that much more than tell time and record HR.
It still checks the HR every 10 mins, unless you are exercising.
Episodes of SVT could last seconds, minutes, hours, or in the worst cases until they are stopped with a procedure called cardioversion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ftaok

Katsak

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2020
1
0
Yeah I can say mine has, I was driving back home with my 6 year old son in the back seat and I Checked the time to my watch which was sitting on heart mode and showed 184bpm I literally nearly had a heart attack as soon as I seen that reading I stopped on the side of the road and was going through a major panic attack thinking, this is it I’m dying, because of the panic attack I literally felt myself slipping away and my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my body, I was shaking and sweating so I called 000 as I literally thought I was having a heart attack.
Fast forward 10 minutes later when the ambulance arrived and put me on the monitors my heart rate was very normal, blood pressure was normal, ecg was normal, ambo driver said to take me to hospital to do bloods and just follow up that everything is ok, but she assured me I looked healthy and all tests performed in the ambo looked spot on, so I decided to drive back home, when sitting at home I kept checking my watch for irregular heart beats, 2 hours later I had my arm behind my head talking to my nephew about what happened earlier and I checked the watch again to see it again showed high number for resting heart rate of 138bmp and literally within 2 seconds jumped back to 67bpm, I will be doing a follow up today just to make sure, I have already booked an echocardiogram so I’ll definitely get some answers if there is some underlying issue, but it does seem like some sort of glitch, which would make me very frustrated if it is seeing the stress and panic attack it gave both my son and myself, my little boy was so traumatised about the whole thing he was crying not to go to school today because he said he wanted to protect me in case something happened :(
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.