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Fitbit HR Inaccurate

thefuzz1290thefuzz1290 Posts: 777Member Member Posts: 777Member Member
May 19, 2016 (San Francisco, CA) – A comprehensive new study conducted by researchers at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (“Cal Poly Pomona”) reveals that the PurePulse™ heart rate monitors in the Fitbit Surge™ and Charge HR™ bear an “extremely weak correlation” with actual users’ heart rates as measured by a true echocardiogram (ECG) and are “highly inaccurate during elevated physical activity.”

http://www.lieffcabraser.com/2016/05/comprehensive-testing-confirms-fitbits-purepulse-heart-rate-monitors-highly-inaccurate/
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Replies

  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    Yeah, I've never been interested in getting a HR monitor device. I started off with the zip and now have settled on the Alta.
  • Sarc_WarriorSarc_Warrior Posts: 431Member Member Posts: 431Member Member
    I had the HR and have since switched to the jawbone UP24
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    I had the HR and have since switched to the jawbone UP24

    Was there much of a difference between the two @indy_cruizer ?
  • DorkothyParkerDorkothyParker Posts: 618Member Member Posts: 618Member Member
    I have the HR Charge. I put my info in on that class-action suit. I'm uncertain if it matters if the number is showing low. but it would be really unfortunate if I think I am working 150 BPM and I am only at 130BPM.
  • shinycrazyshinycrazy Posts: 1,083Member Member Posts: 1,083Member Member
    I liked the idea of a heart rate monitor for my workouts and I knew a wrist based monitor wouldn't be as accurate for a workout. I ended up getting a Garmin Vivofit 2 with the hear rate monitor. It started out great and tracked my heart rate so I could get in to the right zones for cardio. Well, it's stopped working now and I don't recommend it. My 15 year old plus polar heart rate monitor works great though, just doesn't have any tracking since it's much older tech, just give you an average at the end.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,504Member Member Posts: 9,504Member Member
    Yep. My girlfriend returned hers because it was about as accurate as rolling dice when she was exercising. It seemed better when she was sitting down relaxing, but you don't need a heart rate monitor for that.
    It's been pretty well publicized that wrist-based HRM's are not as accurated as the ones with chest straps. Kind of a no-brainer.

    While this is true, it's not what we're discussing. Plenty of wrist-based optical sensors work accurately and reliably, Fitbit's just isn't one of them.
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    I pretty much just use my Fitbit as a very expensive pedometer. It is accurate for counting steps. The resting HR is consistent with professional measurements I've had. I don't know or care about HR during other activity.
  • andrektanandrektan Posts: 196Member, Premium Member Posts: 196Member, Premium Member
    I recently upgraded to a Blaze from a Flex (RIP, good friend) and my main annoyance is that the calorie burns seem about 50-100% higher than they should be..
  • CatchMom11CatchMom11 Posts: 450Member Member Posts: 450Member Member
    Yep. My girlfriend returned hers because it was about as accurate as rolling dice when she was exercising. It seemed better when she was sitting down relaxing, but you don't need a heart rate monitor for that.
    It's been pretty well publicized that wrist-based HRM's are not as accurated as the ones with chest straps. Kind of a no-brainer.

    While this is true, it's not what we're discussing. Plenty of wrist-based optical sensors work accurately and reliably, Fitbit's just isn't one of them.

    It really doesn't matter what wrist-based device you're talking about - none are as accurate as a chest strap that is actually detecting your heart rate straight from the source.

    Also, how is FitMom4Lifemfp's response "not what we're discussing"? The topic is about the inaccuracy of the Fitbit HR. Seems pretty on point to me.
  • thefuzz1290thefuzz1290 Posts: 777Member Member Posts: 777Member Member
    You're right, they're not as accurate as chest monitors, but no one is going to wear a chest strap at all times. My Garmin is pretty close. I've used chest straps in the past and I know what my body feels like at 180-190bpm and when I start feeling that way I'm in the 180s.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,504Member Member Posts: 9,504Member Member
    MandaB9780 wrote: »
    It really doesn't matter what wrist-based device you're talking about - none are as accurate as a chest strap that is actually detecting your heart rate straight from the source.

    Mio's wrist-HRMs are accurate. It's very slightly delayed compared to a chest strap, but the exercise community has embraced them because they're accurate and useful. Fitbit's HRM isn't just "slightly delayed," it's off by an average of 20 beats per minute (!!), it's wildly inaccurate. Yes, it really does matter which wrist-device you use, because some are much more accurate than others.

    Here is a comparison of a Garmin wrist-HRM against a chest strap. The wrist one isn't flawless, but it does a good job.

    image25.png

    Here are two images comparing the Fitbit Charge HR to a chest strap for the same exercise. You can see vague similarities; the Fitbit does not do a good job.

    image36.png

    image37.png
    MandaB9780 wrote: »
    Also, how is FitMom4Lifemfp's response "not what we're discussing"? The topic is about the inaccuracy of the Fitbit HR. Seems pretty on point to me.

    The point isn't that chest straps are better than wrist straps (which isn't really true anyway for most people), and the Fitbit doesn't perform as well as other wrist straps. We're discussing the Fitbit's HR system specifically, not what body part is best. :wink:
    edited May 2016
  • DorkothyParkerDorkothyParker Posts: 618Member Member Posts: 618Member Member
    Is the offage reading higher or lower during periods of intense exercise?
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    Is the offage reading higher or lower during periods of intense exercise?

    That's what I want to know
  • thefuzz1290thefuzz1290 Posts: 777Member Member Posts: 777Member Member
    Is the offage reading higher or lower during periods of intense exercise?
    Is the offage reading higher or lower during periods of intense exercise?

    I believe it was mid points of exercise. If you were trying to stay around 160bpm, it could read 140-180...if the 20 point swing was both ways.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,504Member Member Posts: 9,504Member Member
    Is the offage reading higher or lower during periods of intense exercise?

    It isn't consistent. It can be wrong in either direction, with an average error of 20 bpm (ignoring times when it could not read at all).
  • srecupidsrecupid Posts: 660Member Member Posts: 660Member Member
    I pretty much just use my Fitbit as a very expensive pedometer. It is accurate for counting steps. The resting HR is consistent with professional measurements I've had. I don't know or care about HR during other activity.

    True but the selling point of the HR is the HR. 20 BPM in either direction is a big difference. Personally I just use a basic vivofit 2 for counting my steps and put on a chest strap monitor for cardio sessions. If a wrist based wearable witb hear rate monitor doesn't have a good heart rate monitor then you might as well save the $50 or so and get the model without it
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    srecupid wrote: »
    I pretty much just use my Fitbit as a very expensive pedometer. It is accurate for counting steps. The resting HR is consistent with professional measurements I've had. I don't know or care about HR during other activity.

    True but the selling point of the HR is the HR. 20 BPM in either direction is a big difference. Personally I just use a basic vivofit 2 for counting my steps and put on a chest strap monitor for cardio sessions. If a wrist based wearable witb hear rate monitor doesn't have a good heart rate monitor then you might as well save the $50 or so and get the model without it

    That's a good point. Luckily mine was a gift. ;)

    Actually not so lucky since it was a gift from a close relative who expects me to wear it all the time and quite frankly I don't care what my HR is at every given moment or how many steps I take per day.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,504Member Member Posts: 9,504Member Member
    Honestly I don't care how many steps I take in a day, either. I get more steps walking to the coffee shop than riding my bike 50 miles, so I don't consider it a good indication of how much exercise I've done.
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