Smartwatches are becoming increasingly more popular. Many of them are able to track heart rate. Here is a guide on how to measure heart rate on your smartwatch.
HOW OPTICAL HEART RATE SENSORS WORK
How do heart rate sensors on smartwatches work? Most of them use optical heart rate sensors. This means there are green LEDs on the back of the watch that shine light into your skin. The light that's reflected back is translated by an algorithm into heart rate data. This includes your resting heart rate but also other metrics like VO2 Max and heart rate variability. While optical heart rate sensors have gotten better over the years, wrist-based PPG sensors still aren't always accurate. A recent study found that these sensors didn't work as well when measuring people with darker skin tones.
VIEWING HEART RATE AND SETTINGS
Your heart rate is an important indicator of your overall health, and tracking it is easier than ever with a smartwatch. Pair your watch with the companion app, and then you can customize how often your watch measures your heart rate. Some watches measure heart rate continuously by default, while others will measure periodically to help extend battery life. For example, the Apple Watch measures your heart rate periodically when you’re still and while walking. It only measures continuously when you’re in a workout and for the three minutes after.
If you're interested in keeping track of your heart health, the Apple Watch has a few options for you. First, toggle on Cardio Fitness Notifications. This setting tells you when the watch deems your cardio fitness is low. You can also enable Irregular Rhythm notifications, which means you'll get notified if the watch identifies heart rhythms that may indicate atrial fibrillation. Finally, you can set ranges for High Heart Rate and Low Heart Rate notifications. These notifications alert you when you’ve passed an abnormal threshold while you’re inactive. Having this data at your fingertips can help you gage how well your workouts are impacting your heart health and help you stay informed about any changes in your health.
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCHES
If you have a Samsung Galaxy Watch, you can measure your heart rate very easily! Here's how: Head to the Samsung Health app on your watch Swipe down to Settings | Tap Measurement and select the Heart Rate section From here, you can select whether you want to measure continuously, periodically (once every 10 minutes while still), or manually only
The Withings ScanWatch is the company's only EKG-capable smartwatch that is cleared for use in the US. If you have the ScanWatch, you can use the Health Mate app to measure your heart rate. Here's how:
Open the Health Mate app, Select Devices, then ScanWatch, Tap More Settings, and then ECG. The app will walk you through the measurement process.
Smartwatches have come a long way since their inception, and one of the most popular features of the current crop of devices is their ability to track heart rate. This article will show you how to measure your heart rate on various models of smartwatch, as well as how to view your readings and change heart rate settings.
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