Validity of Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor Compared to Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor [Georgia College and State University]
Introduction: In this day and age, technology is progressing faster than people know how to keep ahead of the advancements. The new era of technology and smartwatches can be a great benefit to healthcare systems around the world. They can be used for weight management, tracking aerobic exercise, and tracking heart rate. However, if smartwatches can be trusted to accurately help people in their everyday lives, then why aren’t doctors and trainers incorporating them into their outpatient instructions? Consequently, the purpose of this study is to observe the accuracy of Apple Watches and to assess if they are as reliable as the Polar Heart Monitors that can be found in exercise testing labs.
Methods: Nine college-aged males and six females participated in the YMCA cycle submaximal test while wearing both a Polar Heart Rate Monitor (H10) and a series 3 or 4 Apple Watch to compare the accuracy of the Apple Watch device. Heart rate and rating of perceived exertion were taken during each stage of testing. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare the heart rate readings in each stage.
Results: There was no statistical difference between the Apple Watch heart rate reading and the Polar Heart Monitor (p > 0.05).
Discussion: Based on the results regarding heart rate through the different stages of the YMCA submaximal test, it appears as though the Apple Watch is comparable to the chest strap monitor during cycling. Previous research has shown similar findings during exercise on a treadmill, indicating that the chest strap and Apple Watch measured similar heart rate values (Gillinov et al., 2017) . Based on the findings of this study, it appears Apple Watch heart rate technology is comparable to chest strap heart rate monitors during various modes of physical activity.
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