Written by Lucinda

How does the heart rate monitor on my Apple Watch work?

Keeping an eye on my heart rate is not only important when exercising. Even when I am working quietly behind my desk, it is important that I have a healthy heartbeat. In this article I explain how Apple Watch measures my heart rate. In addition, I explain how I set heart rate reports on Apple Watch.

How does Apple Watch measure my heart rate?

Measuring heart rate with Apple Watch

When I am active, the Apple Watch heart rate monitor works with green LED lighting. These lights blink hundreds of times per second, so Apple Watch measures how much blood is flowing into my veins at that moment. When my heart is beating, the lights detect more blood than when the heart is not beating. When I'm not active, Apple Watch uses infrared light to measure my heart rate. This light is also used for heart rate reports.

Heart rate reports

With heart rate reports, Apple Watch gives a warning about a strange heartbeat while I'm not active. For example, I get a message if my heart rate is high or too low, while I am quietly watching my favorite series.

How do I set heart rate reports on Apple Watch?

  1. I open the Apple Watch app on my iPhone.
  2. I navigate to the My Watch tab and tap 'Heart'.
  3. Now I am in the overview with all options for the heart rate monitor. 4. Tap on 'high heart rate'. Here I choose the maximum number of strokes per minute that Apple Watch can detect before I receive a notification.
  4. Now choose 'low heart rate'. Here I enter the minimum number of strokes per minute. I receive a notification for everything below this number.

Want to see how the heart rate monitor works?

Would you rather see how the heart rate monitor works? Which can! In this video, our vlogger Jasper shows how you measure your heart rate with the heart rate monitor on your Apple Watch.


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