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Validity and reliability of the Apple Watch for measuring heart rate during exercise

Khushhal, Alaa; Nichols, Simon; Evans, Will; Gleadall-Siddall, Damien; Page, Richard; O'Doherty, Alasdair F.; Carroll, Sean; Ingle, Lee; Abt, Grant


Alaa Khushhal

Simon Nichols

Will Evans

Damien Gleadall-Siddall

Richard Page

Alasdair F. O'Doherty


We examined the validity and reliability of the Apple Watch heart rate sensor during and in recovery from exercise. Twenty-one males completed treadmill exercise while wearing two Apple Watches (left and right wrists) and a Polar S810i monitor (criterion). Exercise involved 5 min bouts of walking, jogging, and running at speeds of 4 km.h-1, 7 km.h-1, and 10 km.h-1, followed by 11 min of rest between bouts. At all exercise intensities the mean bias was trivial. There were very good correlations with the criterion during walking (L: r = 0.97; R: r = 0.97), but poor (L: r = 0.82; R: r = 0.80) and poor/good (L: r = 0.81; R: r = 0.86) correlations during jogging and running. Standardised typical error of the estimate was small, small, and small to moderate. There were good correlations following walking, but poor correlations following jogging and running. The percentage of heart rates recorded reduced with increasing intensity but increased over time. Intra-device standardised typical errors decreased with intensity. Inter-device standardised typical errors were small to moderate with very good to nearly perfect intraclass correlations. The Apple Watch heart rate sensor has very good validity during walking but validity decreases with increasing intensity.


Khushhal, A., Nichols, S., Evans, W., Gleadall-Siddall, D., Page, R., O'Doherty, A. F., …Abt, G. (2017). Validity and reliability of the Apple Watch for measuring heart rate during exercise. SMIO / Sports Medicine International Open, 1(6), E206-E211.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 16, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 18, 2017
Publication Date 2017-06
Deposit Date Sep 18, 2017
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Sports medicine international open
Print ISSN 2367-1890
Electronic ISSN 2367-1890
Publisher Thieme Gruppe
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 6
Pages E206-E211
Keywords Smartwatch, Wearables, Technology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Sports medicine international open, 2017, v.1, issue 6


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