Fitness Heart Rate Monitors

Ways to Wear a Fitness Heart Rate Monitor

Fitness heart rate monitors are proliferating through our exercise-rich culture. These can be worn in different places on your body, and the one that is ideal for you may depend on the activity you're participating in. Read on for more information about how to wear heart rate monitors and what to expect from them.

Where can you wear a heart rate monitor?

Heart rate monitors can be worn in several locations on your body, for example, around the chest, around the arm, and on the wrist. The product is secured to your person with a belt for chest straps, a slim wrist strap, or an armband. The position and type to use depend on what you'll be doing while wearing the monitor as well as price point and how accurately you need to measure your heart rate.

How accurate are heart rate monitors?

Chest straps, which are banded around your chest with a belt, tend to be the most accurate. These measure your heart rate closest to your heart, providing the most reliable reading. As heart rate is measured further away from the source (i.e. heart), the data tend to become less reliable. If you're aiming to maximize your workout via monitoring your heart rate, higher accuracy may be the way to go.

However, for most people, the wrist strap method of wearing your heart rate monitor tends to be easiest, and it is considered accurate enough for general use. Accuracy of the armband method would likely be somewhere in between that of the chest strap and optical wrist strap.

Which are the most and least expensive models?

Chest strap heart rate monitors are less expensive than their optic wrist strap counterparts. This is likely due to the components used to measure the heart rate. With chest strap monitors, the electrical impulse from your heart is measured. The wrist strap method measures heart rate through an optical technique that actually measures blood flow and infers heart rate from that.

What is the comfort level of different heart rate monitors?

Of the heart rate monitors, the chest strap model tends to get the lowest comfort ratings. That is because it is tightly strapped around the person's chest, so it might not be a good choice to use during longer workouts or runs. However, since people are used to wearing watches and other devices around their wrists, a wrist strap heart rate monitor may be a more practical, comfortable choice for everyday use.