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Fitbit HR Inaccurate

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  • 20yearsyounger20yearsyounger Posts: 1,643Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,643Member, Premium Member
    I just got a VivoActive HR, and other than a slight delay as was mentioned above, it closely follows my strap as well as gym machines.
  • Sabine_StroehmSabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,427Member Member Posts: 19,427Member Member
    I test mine regularly. It's usually within 2 beats of my finger tip monitor. Good enough for me.

    In what context? Do you test it while you're sitting on the couch, or while you're running?

    Yes, and yes. I test it while I'm resting, while I'm walking and while I'm running.
  • 20yearsyounger20yearsyounger Posts: 1,643Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,643Member, Premium Member
    srecupid wrote: »
    I find the FitBit overrated in general. It's lacking in monitoring heart rate; my chest strap is far superior. The step function, if worn on the wrist csn be misleading. I can get a few hundred steps just folding laundry. I thought the sleep tracking function would be interesting, but it simply tells me what time I got into bed.

    I'm ready to get rid of mine.

    I went to the doctor yesterday. My pulse was 88 and i was a little nervous. As of right now my charge hr is reporting 76bpm. I'd rather underestimate calorie burn than overestimate it. That being said I am on day 2 and it's adjusted my mfp by 585 calories after walking 9700 steps. The most my vivofit 2 ever gave me back was 439 on monday when i recorded 20,000 steps. I have been making more of an effort to walk uphill instead of flat surfaces now that I have the HR but, it still seems rather high. I guess I really need to test it to find out though. I have a chest strap monitor (2 of them actually) but, they are kinda useless if you don't feel like putting them on. Walking is a leisurely activity to me and I don't want to take the time to make sure everything is ajusted properly before leaving. The charge HR may be inaccurate but, it encourages me to move more (while if i'm putting on a chest strap i had already planned on exercising). If i need to put on a chest strap before exercise that is one more obstacle in the way of me actually doing it. Where as I just put the charge hr on and forget about it. Yes it may just be a glorified pedometer but, I like to know what time it is while i'm at work (not supposed to have a phone on the sales floor) and it's about the same price as a decent watch (and much more useful than a dumb watch) imo. Plus it's more comfortable than any watch I ever wore (hairy arms). That being said I can't wait until android wear watches can do everything that the fitbit can and more. Edit just did a random non scientific test. My polar h7 and my charge hr reported the same heart rate at the same time. But, it adjusts at a slower rate than the chest strap.

    I will just say I had a vivofit 1 for the longest time. I would rather take the reduced calorie burn it gave me and eat back to 1 calorie and maintain than the inflated calories my fitbit gave and guess after leaving back 300 calories. Everyone has different results. Just make sure you can accurately gauge your weight loss with whatever device you choose.
  • Anaris2014Anaris2014 Posts: 138Member, Premium Member Posts: 138Member, Premium Member
    On the topic of HRM, I've struggled to find the entry level, basic featured, HRM/calorie counter watch/chest strap combo for a reasonable price. It seems that the marked has moved from offering these to offering a write based solution that has the steps and everything in it, or far more expensive watch that also includes GPS and all of the bells and whistles.

    Maybe I am too optimistic, but what recommendations would people make with respect to a HRM that meets the above criteria.

    It's worth noting that my goal, in the short term is to keep an eye on the intensity of my training, as I have no intention of "eating back" the calories from exercise at this stage.
  • TisheaDHTisheaDH Posts: 32Member Member Posts: 32Member Member
    "Compared to an Echo-cardiogram." Um hello what actually compares to an echo-cardiogram but another echo-cardiogram? When you use the machines at the gym are you rushing home to compare the numbers to your latest echo-cardiogram?

    Seriously, if you wear most HRM's the way they are supposed to be worn, you'll get numbers accurate enough for you to move from morbidly obese to something better. If you are an Olympic competitor then I'm sure your weekly echo-cardiograms will give you all the reassurance you need that you're in the zone all the time.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,535Member Member Posts: 9,535Member Member
    Anaris2014 wrote: »
    On the topic of HRM, I've struggled to find the entry level, basic featured, HRM/calorie counter watch/chest strap combo for a reasonable price. It seems that the marked has moved from offering these to offering a write based solution that has the steps and everything in it, or far more expensive watch that also includes GPS and all of the bells and whistles.

    Maybe I am too optimistic, but what recommendations would people make with respect to a HRM that meets the above criteria.

    Do you need it to be a watch? Or would a chest strap that works with your phone do what you need?

    Watches are mostly favored by runners, because you can use them without your hands, see what's important to you at a glance without breaking your stride, etc. GPS means a watch can measure your pace, which is one of the most important things a runner can know in the moment. That's why GPS is so common in the watches.

    If you don't need a watch, get a Polar H7 chest strap from Amazon for about $40 and use it with your phone.
  • Anaris2014Anaris2014 Posts: 138Member, Premium Member Posts: 138Member, Premium Member
    Anaris2014 wrote: »
    On the topic of HRM, I've struggled to find the entry level, basic featured, HRM/calorie counter watch/chest strap combo for a reasonable price. It seems that the marked has moved from offering these to offering a write based solution that has the steps and everything in it, or far more expensive watch that also includes GPS and all of the bells and whistles.

    Maybe I am too optimistic, but what recommendations would people make with respect to a HRM that meets the above criteria.

    Do you need it to be a watch? Or would a chest strap that works with your phone do what you need?

    Watches are mostly favored by runners, because you can use them without your hands, see what's important to you at a glance without breaking your stride, etc. GPS means a watch can measure your pace, which is one of the most important things a runner can know in the moment. That's why GPS is so common in the watches.

    If you don't need a watch, get a Polar H7 chest strap from Amazon for about $40 and use it with your phone.

    I generally use mine while running. Unfortunately I have an LG G4 and there is not much in the way of comfortable arm straps or the likes for carrying my phone while running, hence the advantage of a watch.

    Maybe the phone will be the only reasonable option - once you add the GPS the price of a watch goes up significantly. That bottom end of the market really seems to have vanished.
  • The_EnginerdThe_Enginerd Posts: 3,933Member Member Posts: 3,933Member Member
    Anaris2014 wrote: »
    On the topic of HRM, I've struggled to find the entry level, basic featured, HRM/calorie counter watch/chest strap combo for a reasonable price. It seems that the marked has moved from offering these to offering a write based solution that has the steps and everything in it, or far more expensive watch that also includes GPS and all of the bells and whistles.

    Maybe I am too optimistic, but what recommendations would people make with respect to a HRM that meets the above criteria.

    It's worth noting that my goal, in the short term is to keep an eye on the intensity of my training, as I have no intention of "eating back" the calories from exercise at this stage.
    Polar FT4.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,535Member Member Posts: 9,535Member Member
    Anaris2014 wrote: »
    I generally use mine while running. Unfortunately I have an LG G4 and there is not much in the way of comfortable arm straps or the likes for carrying my phone while running, hence the advantage of a watch.

    I tried running a 5k with my phone in a (non-zippered) pocket and it did not go so well for me.

    I have a Garmin GPS/ABC watch. It wasn't cheap but serves my needs. When I got it, REI had this promotion where they'd give a $100 gift card if you got their credit card; I got the card, used it once, got the free money, and spent $100 less on the watch. I'm not sure if they're still doing that promotion but you can look into that and similar ones.

    You can get an Ambit2 for $125, it's not an attractive color but if you only use it for running it might not matter? That one is without the actual HRM but that plus a chest strap is cheaper than most other options I could find quickly.

    26579079160_48021c2ae9_o_d.jpg
  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey Posts: 9,862Member Member Posts: 9,862Member Member
    I got one as a gift. I find it reasonably accurate at rest but only ballpark accurate during higher intensities. I don't mind it to be honest. All activity monitors are what the name entails: they monitor my activity. If it's consistently inaccurate by the same margin of error then it's done its job as far as I'm concerned. I'm not an athlete and don't need to micro manage my heartrate down to the single beat, and I think I'd notice if I'm over exerting myself or taking it too easy. I don't need to take my fitbit's word for it.

    Edit: to be honest I prefer the zip. It's more discreet and I don't have to worry about it when I wash the dishes. It also makes the cutest little faces and the shape reminds me of my childhood tamagotchi days!! I have given it to my sister though, so no going back for now.
    edited June 2016
  • traceyc83traceyc83 Posts: 72Member Member Posts: 72Member Member
    I wear my vivofit2 chest strap while I'm running on my elliptical which also has its own HRM. I'll check my heart rate on the elliptical every so often just to see if it matches what my Garmin is saying and it's usually exactly the same. However, the calories burned on my Garmin are usually a little less than what the elliptical tells me.
  • 20yearsyounger20yearsyounger Posts: 1,643Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,643Member, Premium Member
    traceyc83 wrote: »
    I wear my vivofit2 chest strap while I'm running on my elliptical which also has its own HRM. I'll check my heart rate on the elliptical every so often just to see if it matches what my Garmin is saying and it's usually exactly the same. However, the calories burned on my Garmin are usually a little less than what the elliptical tells me.

    Use Garmin not the elliptical.
  • niblueniblue Posts: 389Member Member Posts: 389Member Member
    I thought the HR in my MS Band was inaccurate as it was typically reading 20bpm more than my Garmin did via it's chest strap. Most of that issue was to do with the way I was wearing the band however - having it tight enough so that it doesn't move during the run means that it's now tracking pretty close to what the Garmin gives.

    It's still no-where near as useful as the Garmin though (I use a 220) as the MS Band display isn't big enough to show the stats I want (I have the Garmin showing HR, distance and current pace).
  • traceyc83traceyc83 Posts: 72Member Member Posts: 72Member Member
    traceyc83 wrote: »
    I wear my vivofit2 chest strap while I'm running on my elliptical which also has its own HRM. I'll check my heart rate on the elliptical every so often just to see if it matches what my Garmin is saying and it's usually exactly the same. However, the calories burned on my Garmin are usually a little less than what the elliptical tells me.

    Use Garmin not the elliptical.

    I do go by my Garmin, I was just saying that the heart rate was the same for both which leads me to believe that my Garmin is fairly accurate.
  • srecupidsrecupid Posts: 660Member Member Posts: 660Member Member
    Well I sent mine back. I ordered a mi band 2 instead. I doubt it's any more accurate but, it's a way better price. I just like having something on my wrist that encourages me to move a bit more. I thought watches were stupid until i stopped being able to tell what time it was without pulling my phone out of my pocket. At the very least I'll know the time
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    Other optical devices like the Mio or Scosche are intended to fit tightly on the mid arm and do not seem to have the same issues. My own testing (Scosche) and dcrainmakers (neither of which are valid as research but then neither is an unpublished lawyer paid article) show much smaller variance with a strap HRM.

    To add my own experience, I've use a Scosche one on my upper arm for 4-5 months now. Other than some glitches where it would read 10-20 bpm too high for about a mile before suddenly settling down to the correct HR, it has been within a couple of BPM of my Garmin and/or Polar chest strap HRM. I wear it on my upper arm as the readings seem to be better from there. I'm also quite pale.

    I've had the same experience. I have had to quit using it for the summer because my sweat seems to be causing a problem with the sensors. It detects just fine until 5-10 min in, and then it doesn't register any HR changes anymore. Just stays at the same number no matter what.

    I'd say it's busted, but it seems to work OK in cooler temperatures. And yes, I have cleaned the sensors. It's the only way I can get the initial 5-10 min worth of accurate reads. Annoying.
  • StacyChrzStacyChrz Posts: 865Member, Premium Member Posts: 865Member, Premium Member
    I recently got the Charge HR. I tested the reading by comparing to the HRM on the treadmill, I'm sure that's not the most accurate but should be close, and it was within 2-5 bpm. For me, that's good enough.
  • CincyNeidCincyNeid Posts: 1,250Member Member Posts: 1,250Member Member
    I've tested my otpic meter on my wrist against a Garmin Premium Chest Strap, Wahoo Fitness Tickr Run Chest Strap and a CycleOps PowerCal Chest Strap and it's always within a beat or two of being "off".

    I will say this the Chest Straps are always more fluid in their reading where as the Elevate sensor takes a little more time to pick up the reading but it's not enough to want to pitch it.
  • _Waffle__Waffle_ Posts: 13,080Member Member Posts: 13,080Member Member
    I've tested my otpic meter on my wrist against a Garmin Premium Chest Strap, Wahoo Fitness Tickr Run Chest Strap and a CycleOps PowerCal Chest Strap and it's always within a beat or two of being "off".

    I will say this the Chest Straps are always more fluid in their reading where as the Elevate sensor takes a little more time to pick up the reading but it's not enough to want to pitch it.

    I have the Garmin Fenix 3 HR. The chest strap is much more fluid and responsive than the wrist based HRM. Mostly the issue shows itself on the time spent showing your lowered heart rate upon a reduced effort. If you're doing intervals or hills it's better to wear a chest strap. For pretty flat surfaces and steady state workouts the wrist based HRM is pretty darn good. I found that keeping the watch snug on the wrist fixed most of my issues. I was getting more erratic readings until I started wearing it one notch tighter on the runs than I typically do during the day. I'm very happy with the results of this with that adjustment.


    This is from this morning's run. The HR tracks really well with effort. Notice the two spots where I stopped to walk. (100% humidity and 80. F running up the bridge inclines today) At any rate it doesn't track lowered heart rate with decreased effort as quickly as if I wear the chest strap but it did a pretty darn good job.

    One other thing to note is the occasional spike in HR. Those don't seem to ever happen when I wear the chest strap. It's just a bad reading from the wrist HRM. I should note that I have fairly hair arms so I'm not an ideal test candidate. That might have something to do with it. Logically if it spikes to 170 and it was 150 a few seconds earlier then it's a false reading that will go away within 5 - 10 seconds typically.

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    All in all I'm very happy with the device. I like not having to put the chest strap on all the time. It was rubbing my chest raw in the summer anyway and I wasn't able to wear it much from June - September. Now I get a good indication of effort without any of the irritation.


    TL;DR - Keep the watch snug on your wrist during exercise and it's probably giving you a fairly good reading.
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