Apple Says Sporadic Apple Watch Heart Rate Tracking is Intentional

When the Apple Watch first launched, the device recorded your heart rate every ten minutes, as originally advertised. After an update to Watch OS 1.0.1, users noticed that the readings became more sporadic.

Apple is now responding to the complaints by saying that the sporadic readings are intentional, and they are not caused by a bug in the watch’s software. The company has updated the heart rate information page on their support website, which was first spotted by 9to5Mac, to say that the Apple Watch “attempts to measure your heart rate every 10 minutes, but won’t record it when you’re in motion or your arm is moving.”


The update to the operating system does not affect the Workout app, which is still able to record your heart rate during runs or other physical activities.

It is still unclear as to why Apple changed how the heart rate monitor functions, however, it seems like the company is trying to avoid inaccurately high readings caused by motion. If your heart rate is recorded when you are seated or stationary, the values should be a lot more consistent.

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  • Nick

    Hmmm… How still do you have to be for it to count? I’ve noticed only a couple of readings taken when I wasn’t making it take them manually.

  • Nick

    As long as you are seated or standing relatively still the watch should continue taking your heart rate every 10 minutes.

  • Aaah, I’m dead…Whew, I’m alive….Aaah, I’m dead….

  • Nick

    Hmm… Seems like it’s been less than that for me, but maybe I just move around too much for it… But then that.brings me to my point that if you need to be too still, what’s the point of it charting your heart rate only then? That means it’s only ever capturing your resting heart rate and nothing when you’re moving (unless you’re in a workout with the workout app). AND if they’ve done it this way because they’ve found that readings are inaccurate when you’re moving around then what does that say for the readings it takes when you’re working out?

  • Lol

  • CapitainHarlock

    Agree, if I knew I would not update 🙁
    I hate it when companies remove features without choice. Now if could downgrade my Apple Watch firmware to v1.0

  • Marco

    when you go to the doctor, do you sit when he takes your blood pressure / heart rate or you keep moving and have him chase you around? Get the point?

  • C

    I’m an Apple-certified trainer, contract film editor, motion graphics artist and been a user for over 10-years.

    I’ve learnt from experience to NEVER be an early adopter.