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Are wrist based heart monitors accurate or is the jury out?
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Waddy-UK




Joined: 12 Nov 2013
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:18 pm    Post subject: Are wrist based heart monitors accurate or is the jury out? Reply with quote

Hi all, heard a lot about the watches with heart rate monitors not being accurate. I just wondered what those in the knows thoughts are on this thanks?

I use a chest monitor but they can be a pain but heard bad reviews about the stats and accuracy of wrist based monitors.

Thanks
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Tigger




Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 2760
Location: Hampshire

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine seems to work very well. I've compared it to my chest strap on bike rides and its been the same.
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SwimsLikeAWalrus




Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 1476

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to have my strap very loose as I swell up. I think this would affect the optical reading!

I use the Garmin hard plastic strap Smile
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Tin Pot




Joined: 08 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AW2 is intermittent in my experience, but not such an issue as you can clearly tell what is a good measurement when looking at the numbers live or after the fact.
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iwaters




Joined: 06 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very recent study concluded that they are a bit #@?#:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170308145327.htm

Chest straps came out quite well. In terms of proper scientific studies the one above sucks as it only had 30 volunteers so draw your own conclusion
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you read any of DCR's reviews on optical, he pretty much always says the same thing. It's very personal, and can be hit and miss. Skin tone/hairy-ness/freckles or moles/etc. I've tried one optical device and it was awful for me and I'm fairly neutral skin tone, not hairy and have no skin blemishes!

Plus, I don't have any issue with chest straps. I generally don't understand the issue with them. I've had races where I've gone for lunch/dinner immediately after, and about 3hrs later I realise I'm still wearing it...i find them hardly noticeable
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andyjsg




Joined: 05 Oct 2012
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently got a fenix 5x and to be honest it can go from spot on to very vague to downright incorrect - usually in the same run.
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Jgav




Joined: 06 Dec 2016
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I compared mine to a Garmin chest strap and it was within 1bpm at all times.
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awildt




Joined: 08 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're not checking whether you're dead or have a dodgy heart. So unless it is wildly inaccurate (more than 50bpm out), there's no difference.

Comes down to comfort. My wrist based works great and as a woman is so much more comfortable than fighting between bra straps and HRM straps.
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iwaters




Joined: 06 Sep 2016
Posts: 272

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

awildt wrote:
You're not checking whether you're dead or have a dodgy heart. So unless it is wildly inaccurate (more than 50bpm out), there's no difference.

Comes down to comfort. My wrist based works great and as a woman is so much more comfortable than fighting between bra straps and HRM straps.


Yeah but in the study I linked above some of the differences were +/- 34 bpm in some cases. That's huge and is the difference between zone 1 and zone 3/4 for some people, its basically useless
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Andy916




Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the optical sensors seem to have systematic problems from the reviews, but if you chose a good one, have the 'right' skin tone etc, and wear it snug it'll do a reasonable job. You need to be mindful of the fiction all these devices can generate, but a critical glance at the trace afterwards is usually sufficient. I lose count of the misinterpretations I hear from non-scientists on HR generally. My partner, also a scientist, has got on ok with Mio and Fitbit Charge; she dislikes chest straps.

The optical sensor misses transients, but that's not a significant problem in most cases. HR as a metric lags some seconds behind rapid physiological changes, so even the best measurement will only tell you about recovery from a short interval.

In 15 years of training with HR I've had more reliable results from a Garmin chest sensor and strap (last couple of years) than from Polar hard and soft straps before that.
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awildt




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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iwaters wrote:
awildt wrote:
You're not checking whether you're dead or have a dodgy heart. So unless it is wildly inaccurate (more than 50bpm out), there's no difference.

Comes down to comfort. My wrist based works great and as a woman is so much more comfortable than fighting between bra straps and HRM straps.


Yeah but in the study I linked above some of the differences were +/- 34 bpm in some cases. That's huge and is the difference between zone 1 and zone 3/4 for some people, its basically useless


Hence why I said "unless it's wildly inaccurate" - we all know how to check our HR at specific pulse points, so we can get within 10 beats as to whether what the watch is telling us is true or not. If not true - it's not good and send it back

As Andy says - get a good one and follow the fitting advice and decide which you prefer between chest/wrist.
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AkselVerg




Joined: 09 Jun 2017
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Re: Are wrist based heart monitors accurate or is the jury o Reply with quote

Waddy-UK wrote:
Hi all, heard a lot about the watches with heart rate monitors not being accurate. I just wondered what those in the knows thoughts are on this thanks?

I use a chest monitor but they can be a pain but heard bad reviews about the stats and accuracy of wrist based monitors.

Thanks


I'm not very experienced in the subject of a variety of specialized devices for measuring heart rate, etc. I can only share my little personal experience. I like long walks on a bicycle which often lasts from 3 to 9 hours. For the convenience of listening to music and answering calls, I bought a smart watch (here a comparison of my watch((Garmin) and some others https://www.bestadvisers.co.uk/smart-watches) . They have a heart rate sensor and it should be noted that it worked without a malfunction (specially tested in the gym at various loads).
Here, only two options are possible, I think, if the pulse meter fails - either a low-quality technique or a breakdown occurred Idea
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those that have used these and found them to work okay, what are they like when swimming?
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Jgav




Joined: 06 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
For those that have used these and found them to work okay, what are they like when swimming?


They don't work when you're swimming. Garmin disable them in water.
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