Over the past few years, the Apple Watch has soared in popularity. With features like heart rate monitoring, calorie counting, breath monitoring and exercise tracking, it’s become a go-to product for anyone that’s looking to get fit, or even simply to be more self-aware. While these features are great, a lot of questions have been asked about the heart rate monitor because simply strapping something to your wrist seems a little too easy, right?. In this blog post, we take a look at the accuracy of the Apple Watch?
How Does The Apple watch Measure Heart Rate?
First of all, it’s important to understand how the Apple Watch measures your heart rate. If you look on the back of the face you’ll see LED lights. These lights shine against your wrist and use the fluctuations in reflected light under your skin to detect your heart rate. It’s similar to how you would have your blood oxygen saturation measured in hospital. With this in mind it’s important to note that you need to wear your watch on the inside of your wrist to get the most accurate reading – think about how you would take your pulse on your wrist and put your watch there. If you want the heart rate reading to be more accurate you should try to strap the watch to your wrist more tightly.
How Accurate Are The Measurements?
There are many tips that can help with improving the accuracy but those aside, how accurate is it? This really depends on how you wear it – if your watch is moving around on your wrist or not placed in the right place it will affect the reading. It also depends on what technology you use to measure your heart rate. Newer generations of the Apple Watch allow you to place your finger on the crown, and this is a much more accurate way of measuring your heart rate than using light, because it creates a closed circuit.
Wearing Your Watch Correctly
In order to ensure that you get the most accurate heart rate measurements, it’s essential that you wear the watch correctly. This allows it to have contact with your skin and therefore get the measurements that it needs. If you don’t wear it correctly then there is a risk that the measurements it takes will be inaccurate and therefore not much use at all.
Even with using best practices for wearing your Apple Watch, there are still margins of error. Having tattoos, activating power saving mode and the type of movement you’re doing can all affect the level of accuracy you experience. Apple says that heart rate accuracy varies from person to person and for some people this feature may never work, but they don’t explain why.
The Apple Watch heart monitoring feature has been approved by the FDA which means it must be fairly accurate, but any testing would’ve been conducted under ideal conditions. Overall, it’s useful as a guide but you shouldn’t worry too much if things seem odd every now and then.