incorrect heart rate measurement — TomTom Community

incorrect heart rate measurement

WilcoKurpershoekWilcoKurpershoek Posts: 1 [Apprentice Seeker]
I have the following problem with my Tomtom Runner3. For example, while cycling my heart rate is continuously between 150 and 160. But suddenly it shows 87. Then the watch jumps back to that 150. I almost never have a cycling session where the heart rate measurement never gives those crazy low values. So my average is never correct! What could be the cause of this? How to solve?

Best Answer

  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,851
    Superusers
    Accepted Answer
    There are two issues around heart rate using optical HR monitors, and these are on all devices, not just TT ones: low heart rate and HR spikes. Low HR is often seen in rowing, cycling and weight lifting. Any time you do an activity that squeezes or tenses the forearms (like the pull stroke in rowing, bearing down on your handlebars in cycling, or virtually any weight lifting move) you are squeezing the blood vessels the watch is reading, so it sees this as a reduced pulse. It is not that the watch is having a problem reading your pulse; it is that your pulse at the wrist has dropped because you are temporarily cutting off blood flow to the vessels it is reading. I have experienced this with every wrist based optical HR I have used, including a Mio and a Scosche unit. For these sorts of activities, you are better off using a chest strap or an optical that sits on the upper arm if getting a more exact reading is important to you.

Answers

  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,851
    Superusers
    Accepted Answer
    There are two issues around heart rate using optical HR monitors, and these are on all devices, not just TT ones: low heart rate and HR spikes. Low HR is often seen in rowing, cycling and weight lifting. Any time you do an activity that squeezes or tenses the forearms (like the pull stroke in rowing, bearing down on your handlebars in cycling, or virtually any weight lifting move) you are squeezing the blood vessels the watch is reading, so it sees this as a reduced pulse. It is not that the watch is having a problem reading your pulse; it is that your pulse at the wrist has dropped because you are temporarily cutting off blood flow to the vessels it is reading. I have experienced this with every wrist based optical HR I have used, including a Mio and a Scosche unit. For these sorts of activities, you are better off using a chest strap or an optical that sits on the upper arm if getting a more exact reading is important to you.
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