Why Your Apple Watch Shows a High Heart Rate and How to Fix It

The Apple Watch has become a popular accessory for those who want to monitor their fitness and health.

I recently bought the Watch Ultra (click to view on Amazon) since I am a very active person who works out and hikes a lot.

One of its many features is the ability to track heart rate, allowing users to keep an eye on their cardiovascular health. However, people have reported that their Apple Watch is showing a heart rate that is too high.

See Also: Which Apple Watch size is right for me?

In this article, we’ll explore why this might happen and what you can do about it.

How Do I Know If My Apple Watch Is Showing Inaccurate Data?

Before we get to some reasons, your Watch might show inaccurate data. I think you should measure your heart rate on your own and then compare your numbers with the Watch.

You can check your heart rate manually by taking your pulse. Heart rate numbers are measured in BPM, beats per minute, and means the number of times the heart beats in a full minute.

Place your index and middle fingers on the inside of your wrist, below the base of the thumb, or on the side of your neck, just below the jawline.

nurse checking pulse of elder person
Check your pulse at home, and compare it to the Watch numbers.

When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats you feel within a 60-second period to determine your heart rate.

Related Product: If heart rate is very important to you, you can also wear something like the Polar H10 chest strap when you need more data (click to view on Amazon)

A quicker way to do it is to count the beats within a 15-second period and multiply the number by four.

You can have the Heart Rate app open on the Watch at the same time, as long as you focus on your pulse while measuring and not on the Watch.

How Does The Apple Watch Measure Heart Rate?

First, it’s important to note that the Apple Watch uses an optical heart rate sensor to measure heart rate. This sensor works by shining a light onto the user’s wrist and measuring the amount of light that is reflected.

This measurement is then used to calculate the user’s heart rate. While this technology is quite accurate, there are several factors that can cause it to give incorrect readings.

One common reason for the Apple Watch to show a heart rate that is too high is because of user error.

If the watch is worn too loosely or too tightly, it can cause inaccurate readings. Users should ensure that the watch is snug on their wrist, but not too tight.

One way to make it easier for the optical heart rate sensor is to put the watch on the underside of the wrist, where the skin is thinner and the blood flow is stronger.

Exercise = Higher Heart Rate

Another factor that can cause the Apple Watch to show a heart rate that is too high is exercise. During intense physical activity, the heart rate naturally increases.

woman exercising with apple watch
The Apple Watch is the most popular exercise-tracking device.

However, the optical heart rate sensor may struggle to keep up with these rapid changes in heart rate, leading to inaccurate readings

In these cases, users may want to consider using a chest strap heart rate monitor, which is more accurate during exercise.

Other Things To Consider

Other factors that can cause the Apple Watch to show a heart rate that is too high include caffeine consumption, stress, and certain medications.

Users should know these potential causes and take them into account when interpreting their heart rate readings.

If a user is consistently seeing heart rate readings that are too high on their Apple Watch, there are several steps they can take to address the issue.

See Also: Can you make calls with an Apple Watch?

First, you need to make sure the watch is properly positioned on your wrist and that you’re not wearing it too tightly or too loosely. You can also try resetting the watch and updating to the latest software version.

If Nothing Works

If the issue persists, you may want to consider contacting Apple support or visiting an Apple store for further help. Apple has great support and is easy to contact.

Sometimes, a hardware issue with the watch may cause the inaccurate heart rate readings, and it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Can Apple Watch heart rate readings be affected by skin color?

Yes, the optical heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch can be less accurate for people with darker skin tones because of the way light is absorbed and reflected by the skin.

man walking down the street
Skin color can affect heart rate data and be one reason the Watch shows inaccurate numbers.

Can Apple Watch heart rate readings be affected by tattoos?

Yes, tattoos can interfere with the optical heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch, causing inaccurate readings. Consider using a chest strap heart rate monitor during exercise if you have tattoos on your wrist.

Can Apple Watch heart rate readings be affected by water?

Yes, the Apple Watch is water-resistant, but water can interfere with the optical heart rate sensor, causing inaccurate readings. It’s recommended to dry the watch and your skin before taking heart rate readings after being in water.

Can Apple Watch heart rate readings be affected by movement?

Yes, movements such as shaking your wrist or sudden movements during exercise can cause the optical heart rate sensor to lose track of your heart rate, resulting in inaccurate readings.

Can Apple Watch heart rate readings be affected by heart conditions?

Yes, certain heart conditions can cause the Apple Watch to show inaccurate heart rate readings. If you have a known heart condition or are experiencing symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, consult a doctor for a professional evaluation.

Have you found a solution to this problem? Let me know in the comments.

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