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Heart Rate for newbie (wrist vs chest strap)

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  • Heart Rate for newbie (wrist vs chest strap)

    I just picked up my first Vivoactive HR. I've been reading through the forums to get a general idea for getting started. However I thought I'd throw this out there for those of you who have been using the device long-term for various workouts and have upgraded to the latest firmware.

    I'm assuming that for general wellness, the heart-rate just does random pulls throughout the day.
    For Bike - riding, I am planning to use this as a heart rate transmitter to my Garmin Edge. During transmit mode with the latest firmware, has anyone compared this to a chest strap regarding peaks / recovery?
    I've read that it is fine for general biking, but for interval training, one might want to use a chest strap (which I do have; I just don't like messing with them).
    I don't know if this would be different with latest firmware, or if it's more of a hardware thing in the way the camera reads heart rate.

    I'm just planning out what hardware to use for endurance training vs burst type training (Plyometrics, etc...).

  • #2
    Hi ztbishop,

    its a question of what quality of values do you want to have.

    A chest strap is just the most accurate way to measure your heart rate, but that does not mean that the HR taken from your wrist is totally inacurate and worthless.

    When you use your Vivoactive HR during the day it is oberserving your HR in 94 second intervalls, but during a exercise it is constally oberserving.

    So as long it has constantly contact to your skin the values should be good enough for hobby sports(wo)men like us.

    Just keep in mind that the HR-Run Chest belt can provide additional information of your run style (Stride length, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc.).

    If you only use it for biking this wouldnt be a thing.

    Best regards
    Last edited by Scout40000; 09-14-2017, 02:52 AM. Reason: Corrected the 24/7 HR intervall from 10 minutes to 94 seconds.
    Current: Fenix 3 HR Sapphire Edition / Garmin Index
    Charging Alternative: VivoSmart HR+
    Previous: VivoSmart


    • #3
      Originally posted by Scout40000 View Post
      Hi ztbishop,

      When you use your Vivoactive HR during the day it is oberserving your HR in 10 minute intervalls, but during a exercise it is constally oberserving.
      Hey, I thought it measures your HR every 1 min throughout the day and every 10 secs during an activity?


      • #4
        in 24/7 mode, last I checked, it saves off the HR every 94 seconds into the HR history. (which can be shown in various watchfaces/widgets/etc) When recording, it's "real time" and saved to the .fit based on 1 sec or "smart" recording in settings. When you are transmitting, it's "real time" that's being transmitted. That's why you see the warning about the impact on the batter.
        My Connect IQ Apps in the Store
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        • #5
          For anything that involves use of the wrist like weight training, press ups or cycling (due to vibrations from the road) a wrist HR is not great, its not totally useless. It all depends how how accurate you want to be and given you are talking about recovery and peaks and want to start training hard you will find with a wrist based HR sensor it is often slow to catch the peaks (sometimes does not even respond) and recovery might show a quick reduction when in fact its still 20 BPM higher

          Couple of examples for you from real world

          Last night I was at a Metafit cardio class (High HiiT training)

          My heart rate was showing at 120 BPM and I was flat out and I thought that does not seem right. I then released my HR strap was not connected. I then turned it on and it was actually 166.

          Last week I was out testing the Suunto Spartan trainer, Fenix 5x and a Edge 1030 whilst cycling.

          The Edge was connected to a Garmin HR tri chest strap and the other 2 devices was using the wrist HR. None of the wrists matched the chest strap for 65% of the rides, both devices missed high peaks and recovery during intervals

          Running, however I have found little problem

          Hope this helps
          Fitness tech and wearable reviewer


          • #6
            One thing about bike riding. You will not receive any step counts while riding a bike. I generally put my watch in my pants pocket so I get credit for moving. However, that means no heart rate monitoring. A chest strap can still record your heart rate while your watch is not on your wrist. You could use cadence sensors, etc. on your bike to get credit, though.