Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Which heart rate monitor to buy?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Snow Leopard, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
    Hi all,

    I am willing to try out a heart rate monitor to see whether I can better manage my activity levels.

    The problem is that there seem to be so many different ones with a large difference in price - from $40 watches to very expensive ones that strap over the heart and others that also work as pedometers and can transmit the data over wi-fi.

    There are also some questions about fitment, and how reliable they might be (particularly with the cheaper watch variety?)

    The last serious discussion that I could find was back in 2013, and so things may have change a little since then.

    I would like advice on what to buy and why? (doesn't have to be advice for me in particular, but any advice that is of benefit to others)
  2. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

    I've got this one: 25

    It's basic but only cost me €30 and has nearly everything I want. What I most like about it is that it shows heart rate and time simultaneously on the display, and I can set it to peep when my heart rate goes over a pre-set limit (104 for me).

    What I don't like about it is having to wear a chest strap, and I would rather it vibrated instead of peeped so that only I would get the message and not everyone around me. So I regularly check the market for a watch with the functions I already have, plus no chest-strap. Haven't found one yet. All the super ones with no chest-strap that cost up to a couple of hundred (and I would spend that) require you to change screens between time and heart rate, or flash instead of peep so you have to keep looking at it. For that price it has to be exactly what I want, so I'm still waiting for a model to come out exactly the way I like it. Until then I wear the cheap one for a week or two all the time to readjust my habits (walking speed etc), then don't wear it for ages. Probably time I wore it again for a couple of weeks, I think I may have been getting a little too sprightly lately.
  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    I hate chest straps, so needed a wrist unit. The cheaper wrist units will get interference in the readings if you're moving your arm around, but that might not be a problem if using it while mostly stationary.

    More expensive wrist units include an accelerometer, so it can detect arm movement and exclude it from the calculations. But even those can get confused by driving in a car over a road with regular closely spaced little bumps (basically where you end up vibrating).

    I love my Alpha Mio - a wrist unit with accelerometer. It's also water proof as long as you don't use the buttons while it's wet, and you can set various alarms at different heart rates. It has a clock mode, an HR mode, and an HR mode with alarms and flashing lights engaged. So it can be more discrete but still functional while out in public.

    I've seen mention of the newer models recently, and they sound even more groovy. But maybe the older ones are now a bit cheaper. My older model (new at the time) was 140 euros locally when we bought it a couple years ago.
  4. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

    I use an Mio Alpha with an ipod (other ios or most android work with it too) and would recommend despite it being one of the more expensive ones.

    They have a good reputation for accuracy, higher spec sensors, and the Alpha gives easy control of the data once it's on your device.

    There's a fairly recent thread here that talks about it
  5. Raines

    Raines Seize. Eggs. I don't know. Zebra. Eighties.

    I first brought one with a chest strap, it was cheep under £20, and soon discovered that chest strap + bra = unbearably uncomfortable, I just couldn't wear the chest strap for more than an hour or two.

    I now have a fitbit charge hr, it doesn't do alarms when you reach a certain hr, which is a shame. But it's easy enough to check it at any time with a push of a button. It also counts steps - which I have found very helpfully with pacing. And can record sleep (though I don't find this that accurate) and in depth workout data, which I use to do things like see how I coped with a trip or meeting, or to do a poor man's tilt test. The data is saved online, syncs with your phone, and it only needs charging once/twice a week. It also has silent alarms, it vibrates on your wrist, that I have set to remind me when to take medication, if they could update it for silent alarms when a certain hr is reached it would be perfect.

    When tested with a bp hr cuff monitor, it does very well almost always within 6 beats, it does however take longer to catch up to a swift change in hr, (laying to standing PMTT), and at these times can be dozens out for a minute while it adjusts, but.with a slower change, e.g. walking it remains quite accurate.

    So all in all I'm happy with my choice.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page