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Discussion: heart rate accuracy

in: anniemac; anniemac > 2019-09-18

Sep 19, 2019 4:00 AM # 
I bought a new watch recently, Polar Vantage M. I wanted a wrist HRM even knowing they can be inaccurate, because if a heart trace requires a chest strap, it ain't happening with me.

So, in the couple of months since I got the watch, most of the time the heart rate seems to make sense. But several times I have noticed when I start out, the watch seems to be showing double my actual pulse. I have a very slow pulse after 50 years of running, e.g. mid 50s standing, mid 40s sitting, and mid 30s sleeping, so I am guessing that when I start out, the watch can't believe my pulse is that low, so doubles it. (Perhaps I am anthropomorphizing at bit too much.)

And just today, I noticed what seems to be the reverse phenomenom: I've just returned to hot and humid territory after a month out west where it's been somewhat less hot and way less humid. So quite a few minutes after I finished my run, when sweat was still pouring out and my heart still seemed to be pounding, I did a quick check of my pulse by two methods simultaneously: fingers on wrist, and pushing the Show My Pulse button on the watch. Fingers on wrist indicated HR was still up around 120, watch said around 60!

But most of the time it makes more sense, so I still think it's useful data. And I ain't wearing no stinkin' (literally) chest strap.
Sep 19, 2019 10:48 AM # 
Right on! I cannot tolerate a chest strap. I mean, I’m already wearing a running bra! ;)))

Good to know this is not just me regarding the inaccuracy! This is the first time I’ve noticed anything weird.
Sep 19, 2019 12:42 PM # 
I used to dislike the chest strap, but I’ve gotten used to it over time. I just always wear it during activity. Not optional. But I’m not wearing a running bra, so it’s less of a PITA. Washing it weekly is important, o-maps. ;)
Sep 19, 2019 1:19 PM # 
They should make a running bra with a built-in heart rate monitor!. I’m sure that already exists, but if it doesn’t, I just made $1 million with this idea.
Sep 19, 2019 11:28 PM # 
Now THAT is a great idea!
Sep 19, 2019 11:30 PM # 
Yes, Google shows that it already exists :)

I don't even notice the strap when it's adjusted correctly. It only bothers me if it's too loose and sliding down.
Sep 20, 2019 1:09 AM # 
Ah well, I’ll have to invent something else....

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