Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Does A Normal Heart Rate Look Like On A Monitor

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Pulse Oximeter with Atrial Fibrillation Display

I have a love/hate relationship with the monitor. I remember as a junior medical student my first day on pediatrics when I was caring for a 6 month old boy. During my rounds, the monitor suddenly started alarming. His heart rate was 140! My expression frightened his mom and she and I rushed outside to grab the nurses and a pediatrician. Turns out 140 is only the upper limit of characters for tweets and is perfectly normal for that age range. I was led astray by that monitor and it spawned a decade long feud.

Now Ive come to appreciate it a little more with familiarity Ive learned that the alarms are a reminder for you to check the patient. Remember any number that doesnt fit with what youre seeing needs further investigation. The automated BP can be influenced by a number of factors, but sometimes that single low reading might be a message. I had a 80 yo male with 1 reading of 60/40 and then every subsequent reading was 120/80. He ended up passing from a ruptured abdominal aneurysm within 30 minutes. Other times the reading could be completely spurious so watch out for trends.

The respiratory rate is on the whole, unreliable. Always measure RR manually as it is the most sensitive indicator of illness and the machine measurement is usually wrong .

Dr. Alim Nagji

Factors That Affect Heart Rate Variability

There are a great number of things that impact your HRV. The figure below breaks them down into three categories: Training factors, lifestyle factors, and biological factors.

Some of the many things that can impact heart rate variability.

Training factors include the frequency and intensity of your workouts. If you go extra hard today, or for several days in a row, your HRV is likely going to take a hit. There are also many other choices you make each day that significantly affect your heart rate variability, ranging from what you put into your body, to the quality and consistency of your sleep.

And lastly, there are biological factors that are out of your control, like age, gender and geneticssome people are just born to have higher HRV than others.

What Is Maximum Heart Rate

Your maximum heart rate is, on average, the highest your pulse can get. One way to get a rough estimate of your predicted maximum is to subtract your age from the number 220.

For example, a 40-year-old’s predicted maximum heart rate is about 180 beats per minute.

You can learn your actual maximum heart rate with a graded exercise test. If youâre taking medicines or have a medical condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, ask your doctor whether you should adjust your exercise plan to keep your heart rate under a specific number.

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Who Needs A Holter Monitor

You may need a Holter monitor if you have an inconclusive electrocardiogram , a type of heart test. An inconclusive EKG means it didnt provide clear results.

Maybe you saw your doctor because of signs of a heart rhythm problem like your heart is racing or fluttering. Or you had unexplained fainting.

Your provider decided to do an EKG to find the problem. But the EKG only records your heart for a short period. Heart symptoms dont always happen while youre in the providers office.

If the EKG doesnt tell your provider what they need to know, a Holter monitor can help. It gathers more information about your hearts activity. You wear it for a full day or two, giving it more chances to spot unusual activity.

Resting Heart Rate While You Sleep

How do fitness trackers measure your heart rate? · Exist

Heart rate tracking isn’t just about exercise. Fitbit’s trackers are also able to keep track of your resting heart rate a metric which refers to the heart rate measurement when you’re awake, calm and have not recently exerted yourself.

In order to estimate this, Fitbit interprets data taken from when you’re awake and when you’re asleep, meaning that those who take their device off before bed won’t receive the most accurate results.

Typically, your resting heart rate is higher than your heart rate while you’re asleep, so don’t start panicking if you notice that the figure is higher than the lowest number you see in your graphs.

Also Check: Does A Higher Heart Rate Burn More Calories

Key Background: Ecg Vs Ppg

Before explaining the details of the abnormal rhythms, it helps to have a little background on the two most common types of heart rate sensors.

The gold standard in a hospital setting is an electrocardiogram, or ECG, which shows the voltage within your hearts electrical system. In every normal heart beat, the top two chambers of the heart contract first, producing a small voltage notch called the P wave. Specialized electrical tissue called the AV node causes a 120200ms delay, and then the bottom two chambers of the heart contract, producing a larger voltage spike called the QRS complex. In normal heart rhythm, every QRS complex follows a P wave .

A cardiologist can infer quite a lot from even a short ECG reading. For example, if the QRS complex precedes or obscures the P wave, it indicates electrical impulses in the heart are traveling in reverse , which can happen in a common arrhythmia called supraventricular tachycardia .

Consumer heart rate sensors, such as the Apple Watch, use an optical sensor based on photoplethysmography . Every time your heart beats, it sends a pulse wave throughout your arteries. Apple Watch measures those pulse waves at the wrist, but anywhere on the skin with good blood perfusione.g., your forehead, arm, chest, ear lobescan be used to measure heart rate.

How To View Your Heart Rate On A Fitbit

Below we’ll get into the intricacies of the heart rate monitor, but it’s worth pointing out how you can actually view your heart rate data, too.

Depending on the device itself, you should be able to see your current BPM on the home screen or by swiping. For detailed info from your exercise or on resting heart rate, you’ll need to head to the Fitbit app’s dashboard and tap through to the Heart Rate section and select the day you want to view. The same also applies to the Fitbit web app.

Read Also: Typical Resting Heart Rate For A Healthy Individual

When Is Holter Monitoring Used

The most common reason is palpitations. This would include sensations of skipped and extra heartbeats such as PVCs. Another common reason is syncope, which basically means passing out. Other reasons may include monitoring heart rate to see if it is too fast or too slow, or to see if ongoing treatments for heart rate are effective.

Some people may have conditions such as heart block that can lead to a slow heart rate, dizziness and passing out. Some people may have uncontrolled fast heart rates from atrial fibrillation or other forms of arrhythmia. Holter monitors can be used to diagnose and characterize these disorders.

Pm Until : 45pm: A Belgium Pub More Subway Time And The High Speed Train Home

What does a normal heart look like?

After the meeting concluded there was a bit of a walk to what was going to be the car park, and then it was decided that a pub was preferred, so a detour to a Belgium pub. The pub didnt last terribly long, as I eventually had to go. It was a Christmas brew, in case you were curious.

Following the pub you see my HR climb a bit as I navigate the underground subway system and everything associated with that. It was a bit of a packed train on the subway. But once at the main train station things calmed down a bit and I was able to easily grab the nonstop train home with less hecticness.

Once onboard the high speed train things largely level out and are pretty calm for the ride home.

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Learn What Is A Normal Heart Rate And How To Find Your Pulse With Your Fingers Or A Device

Measuring your heart rate is any easy way to gauge your health, as it provides a real-time snapshot of your heart muscle function. For most adults, a normal resting heart ratethe number of heartbeats per minute while at restranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. A normal heart rate can vary from person to person. However, an unusually high or low resting heart rate can be a sign of trouble.

How To Lower Your Resting Heart Rate

In general, people who are more fit and less stressed are more likely to have a lower resting heart rate. A few lifestyle changes can help you slow it down:

  • Exercise regularly. It raises your pulse for a while, but over time, exercise makes your heart stronger so it works better.
  • Eat right. Losing weight may slow your resting heart rate. And studies have found lower heart rates in men who eat more fish.
  • Tackle stress. Set aside time to disconnect from electronic devices and relax each day. Meditation, tai chi, and breathing exercises can also help.
  • Stop smoking. Itâs one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

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Have An Apple Watch You Can Help

Its early days for wearables in healthcare, but there is a lot of potential. For example, recent research suggests that if you can monitor people with a cryptogenic stroke for three weeks rather than the standard 48 hours, you can detect 5x as much atrial fibrillation .

What would happen if we could extend that monitoring interval to a year? Your whole life?

If you have an Apple Watchregardless of whether you have a heart conditionyou can help us find out. Were running the mRhythm Study with the UCSF Health eHeart Study, using Cardiogram to train a deep learning algorithm to detect atrial fibrillation. You can contribute regardless of whether you have a heart condition.

If you have an Apple Watch, please do sign up at


In more detail: every normal heart beat has four phases, starting with an electrical impulse generated by the SA node , which causes an atrial contraction , passes through the AV node , and finally causes a ventricular contraction . The ventricals then repolarize .

More specifically, AVNRT, or AV-Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia, in which a harmful loop develops in the hearts electrical circuit. Think of it as recursion without a base case.

What If The Holter Monitor Doesnt Catch The Problem

Whats a normal heart rate?

The Holter monitor can only detect issues that occur during the monitoring period. Often people will use the Holter monitor initially as it makes more sense from a technical and cost perspective. If the symptoms are less frequent, a longer-term monitor is the next step. Some Holter type monitors can be worn for up to 14 days. If long term monitoring is desired then there are non-wired monitors that can be carried around and placed on the skin when symptoms occur. That is not continuous though and only record when the monitor is placed on the chest. More recently there has been increasing use of monitors placed under the skin that can record continuously for up to 2 years. The Holter monitor is often the initial step, but there are many options available.

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Am Until : 00am: Getting To The Station Waiting Around And The Train Ride:

This first segment is from when I initially left the apartment, walking/rushing to the Metro station, navigating deep down into the subway station, and then getting on the short train ride to Gare du Nord. From there, I worked my way back out of the Metro trying to get from the underground portion to the above ground train portion. After which, I found the high speed train to Brussels delayed. So I wandered around, found food, generally froze , and just waited.

Eventually there was a people rush for the train as it pulled in and gave us about 4 minutes to run to the correct car, get in, etc Once that was complete, it was normalcy again and I was able to get some work done on the train.

It is interesting to look at the spikes in heart rate while rushing through the stations. However, Im not convinced that those 140bpm spikes are real. And by not convinced, Im going with not a chance in heck. A heart rate of 139bpm is my Z2 rate my long running rate. Normally, thats about 7:00-7:30/mile. Thus despite it being a bit of a rush, it wasnt an over the top rush. Not a nervous sprint. So Im a bit hesitant that those spikes are accurate. I think the 120s are probably realistic but not those 140s.

Here I am, cruising across the countryside at a couple hundred miles an hour, working away. I know, not terribly exciting:

What Is Your Heart Rate

Your heart rate, or pulse, is the number of times your heart beats in 1 minute. Heart rates vary from person to person. Itâs lower when youâre at rest and higher when you exercise.

Knowing how to find your pulse can help you figure out your best exercise program. If youâre taking heart medications, recording your pulse daily and reporting the results to your doctor can help them learn whether your treatment is working.

Blood pressure vs. heart rate

Your heart rate is separate from your blood pressure. Thatâs the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels.

A faster pulse doesnât necessarily mean higher blood pressure. When your heart speeds up, like when you exercise, your blood vessels should expand to let more blood pass through.

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When Should You Track Your Heart Rate

If youre an endurance athlete , tracking and targeting the appropriate heart rate during exercise can help maximize your aerobic fitness. For the remaining majority of us, a more realistic goal is simply to exercise hard enough to break a sweat for at least 150 total minutes per week, ideally divided into three or four sessions.

Meanwhile, if youve been experiencing palpitations, intermittent lightheadedness, or youve actually passed out, it could be a sign your heart rate is periodically falling too low or surging too high. Both scenarios can make your blood pressure drop and your brain get woozy. In addition, palpitations can also be a sign of an abnormal heart rate thats worth getting checked out.

To investigate, you can check your heart rate while youre experiencing symptoms. You can also scroll through your heart rate record, looking for any major deviations from the norm. Although a normal rate is defined as 60 to 100 beats per minute, most people dont have symptoms unless their rate goes below 45 or above 130. Also, dont forget that its normal for your heart rate to increase during exercise, so you only need to worryand call your doctorabout elevated values that occur at rest.

Uses For Holter Monitoring

What happens when you wear a Heart Monitor?

An EKG is a medical test thats used to measure your heart rate and rhythm. Its also used to look for other abnormalities that may affect normal heart function. During an EKG, electrodes are placed on your chest to check your hearts rhythm. You may experience heart rhythm irregularities that dont show up at the time the EKG is done because youre only hooked up to the machine for a very brief amount of time.

Abnormal heart rhythms and other types of cardiac symptoms can come and go. Monitoring for a longer period of time is necessary to record these events. The Holter monitor lets your doctor see how your heart functions on a long-term basis. The recordings made by the monitor help your doctor determine if your heart is getting enough oxygen or if the electrical impulses in the heart are delayed or early. These irregular impulses may be referred to as arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms.

If youre already being treated for heart problems, wearing your monitor can help your doctor determine if your medicine is working or if changes need to be made. It can also help them to see why you might be experiencing other symptoms of irregular heartbeat, such as dizziness, faintness, or feeling like your heart is racing or skipping a beat.

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My Doctor Prescribed A Heart Monitor What Does This Mean

Primary care providers and Cardiologists use heart monitors as diagnostic tools. The hearts electrical activity can often provide clues into patients symptoms, such as palpitations or feeling dizzy. If there are extra beats or slow heart rates this can help make a diagnosis and provide clues into specific therapies such as needing a pacemaker or anti-arrhythmic medication.

Fitbit Heart Rate Monitoring Explained

Tracking heart rate is a huge feature of Fitbit’s smartwatches and fitness trackers and drives the data we demand from our wearables. But how does Fitbit track heart rate, what features does it power and crucially, is it accurate?

Thanks to the in-built heart rate monitor found in the likes of the Fitbit Charge 4, and the new Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense you’re able to gauge not only your heartbeat activity during workouts, but also tap into wellness features and some of the best sleep tracking in the business.

With the arrival of its Sense watch and its new PurePulse 2.0 sensor technology, Fitbit is also venturing deeper with the level of heart rate monitoring.

We get stuck into how it all works and why you’d want to try it out:

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What The Numbers Mean

Heart rate: The hearts of healthy adults typically beat 60 to 100 times a minute. People who are more active can have slower heart rates.

Blood pressure: This is a measure of the force on your arteries when your heart is beating and when itâs at rest . The first number should be between 100 and 130, and the second number should be between 60 and 80.

Temperature: Normal body temperature is usually thought to be 98.6 F, but it actually can be anywhere from just under 98 degrees F to a little over 99 without concern.

Respiration: A resting adult typically breathes 12 to 16 times a minute.

Oxygen saturation: This number measures how much oxygen is in your blood, on a scale up to 100. The number is normally 95 or higher, and anything below 90 means your body may not be getting enough oxygen.

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