Activity Tracking and Fitness Metric Accuracy
Garmin wearables are intended to be tools to provide you with information to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle. Garmin wearables rely on sensors that track your movement and other metrics. The data and information provided by these devices is intended to be a close estimation of your activity and metrics tracked, but may not be precisely accurate. Garmin wearables are not medical devices, and the data provided by them is not intended to be utilized for medical purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Garmin recommends you consult your doctor before engaging in any exercise routine.
Accuracy of Wrist-based Heart Rate (Elevate)
The optical wrist heart rate (HR) monitor for Garmin wearables is a valuable tool that can provide an accurate estimation of the user’s heart rate at any given point in time. The optical HR monitor is designed to attempt to monitor a user’s heart rate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The frequency at which heart rate is measured varies, and may depend on the level of activity of the user. When you start an activity with your Garmin optical HR device, the optical HR monitor measures more frequently. The intent is to provide the user with a more frequent and accurate heart rate reading during a given activity.
While our wrist HR monitor technology is state of the art, there are inherent limitations with the technology that may cause some of the heart rate readings to be inaccurate under certain circumstances. These circumstances include the user’s physical characteristics, the fit of the device and the type and intensity of the activity as outlined above. The HR monitor data is not intended to be used for medical purposes, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.
Detecting accurate wrist heart rate during swimming is challenging. The product description of the wearable will state whether wrist heart rate is available in the swim activity profile. Note that wrist heart rate is intentionally disabled in swim activity profiles for some older devices, or may need to be enabled in the device settings for others. Garmin recommends using a chest strap heart rate monitor with store-and-forward functionality, paired with compatible devices for best heart rate accuracy while swimming.
Accuracy of Wrist-based Pulse Ox
Pulse Oximetry (Pulse Ox) readings are available for certain Garmin wearables. It can provide an estimation of the user’s peripheral blood oxygen saturation (SpO2%) at any given time the feature is accessed. The feature can also be set to track in a continuous manner during a period while the user is asleep. For certain devices, it can also be used to track periodically throughout the day along with a view of the user’s altitude or elevation.
While every effort is made to ensure a high degree of accuracy, there are certain limitations that can cause inaccurate measurements. The user’s physical characteristics, fit of the device, and presence of ambient light may impact the readings. Garmin may release device software over time to improve aspects of the measurements. The Pulse Ox data is not intended to be used for medical purposes, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.
Excessive motion and the position of the device can impact the accuracy of the readings. It is important to keep your arm/sensor still for approximately one minute for best accuracy.