Everything you need to know about the HRV measured by your Apple Watch

What is frequency variability

The first thing to consider is the definition of frequency variability. This value can be defined as a state of relative activation of the sympathetic-parasympathetic axis, according to different experts. Specifically, it is the interval between one beat and another beatthat is, a RR interval. In a simple electrocardiogram you can see that range that exists between one beat and another. That is why it is always required to have an Apple Watch model that has the integrated Electrocardiogram functionality.

This is something that can be really complex for a person who does not know how the body works. But the only thing you need to know is that the autonomic nervous system (the one that we do not control) has two divisions: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The first of them is focused on emergency situations, and the second is focused on the state of rest.

A risk factor indicator

In this case, the variance in the heart rate that is calculated on the Apple Watch, and also in the 12-variation electrocardiograms, is interpreted as a risk factor. This means that it is capable of predict if heart may end up failing more likely if you have low beat-to-beat variability. There are some studies that can be consulted in this case that point to a poor prognosis, especially when it comes to serious heart disease. Within these can enter, for example, heart failure. This makes it important to take it into account before any type of variation that has to be made.

Although, the VFR that right now is under constant study. In different scientific databases you can find numerous articles of thes research wings that are currently open. It can be seen that there are studies related to the quality of sleep, and even the vitality of newborns. That is why in the end we are faced with a value that is gradually gaining strength in medical diagnoses. The problem in this case is always that it cannot be interpreted by a person without prior knowledge of medicine. Although it is true that the algorithms that are integrated into the Health application will be able to explain the data that is always obtained to the users.

HRV interpretation

But in the event that you have a completely healthy heart, the most appropriate interpretation regarding Health is precisely the amount of sport that you are going to be able to do. Athletes typically have a low heart rate, and this It is mainly due to having a high HRV. In this case, we always talk about good cardiovascular health. Depending on this value, anyone who is going to do physical exercise will be able to know if they are going to have a better recovery or greater resistance while doing it. Specifically, you will finally have a physiological situation that is favorable.

The opposite happens when you have a HRV or HRV or reduced. This is an indication of illness as we have mentioned before, and above all that not enough physical exercise is performed. But ultimately, this is something that has to be analyzed by doctors. It is not a substitute for the Holter itself, which is in charge of analyzing the data and offering this information.

How to check your HRV in Health

As we have mentioned before, it is an essential requirement to have an Apple Watch that has the possibility of performing an electrocardiogram to have a better measurement. All of this data is also recommended by Apple to be consulted when are over 18 years old. This is mainly due to the fact that the algorithm is only designed for adults, and if it is configured for a child, it is possible that the section may not even appear for you to make the corresponding query.

Once you take into account all this data, you will simply have to perform the following query steps:

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone.
  2. At the bottom, click on the tab To explore.
  3. In the list, click on the Heart section.
  4. A series of data will appear of all the measurements that have been taken throughout the life of the device while you are wearing it. Being something automatic, a large amount of data from your HRV.

HRV Apple Watch

In the graph attached to these data you will be able to find the ways to customize the visualization. Specifically, you will be able to see a wide graph of a whole year, but you can also choose the option of a month or a full semester. Likewise, with your finger you can comfortably browse the entire graph and see the HRV in a specific time frame. At any time you will be able to click on a point to be able to consult the HRV in a specific band, which can be something really interesting to take into account.

In addition, they will be able to investigate each of the heart rate bands that can be found in order to carry out the calculation itself. Likewise, Apple itself adds a small text of everything you need to know about the VFC. As we say, it should be a low value that indicates good cardiovascular health. By default, it is offered in milliseconds. Apple also reminds that other health applications can also monitor this variation in heart rate.

Is this value that it gives you reliable?

We must always start from the fact that the Apple Watch is not very reliable when it comes to electrocardiograms you can do. This is mainly due to the fact that it is not medical equipment as such, since in this case there is only one referral and not 12, as are the medical electrocardiograms that can be performed in a health center.

Likewise, there are different studies that have been carried out with the Apple Watch. These indicate that the sensor that is perfectly integrated into the watch has great reliability, although it is obviously not equated with a medical device. That is why if it offers you a very high result you will not have to worry. Any diagnosis must pass through the hands of a doctor. That is why if you feel bad, you will have to go immediately to a medical center and not be guided exactly by what the Apple Watch is telling you. It should only be a guide, or an advice tool rather than something of complete reliability.

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