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Commercial Smart Watches and Heart Rate Monitors: A Concurrent Validity Analysis.

Montalvo, S, Martinez, A, Arias, S, Lozano, A, Gonzalez, MP, Dietze-Hermosa, MS, Boyea, BL, and Dorgo, S. Smartwatches and commercial heart rate monitors: a concurrent validity analysis. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2022-The purpose of this study was to explore the concurrent validity of 2 commercial smartwatches (Apple Watch Series 6 and 7) against a clinical criterion device (12-lead electrocardiogram [ECG]) and a field criterion device (Polar H-10) during exercise. Twenty-four male collegiate football players and 20 recreationally active young adults (10 men and 10 women) were recruited and participated in a treadmill-based exercise session. The testing protocol included 3 minutes of standing still (resting), then walking at low intensity, jogging at a moderate intensity, running at a high intensity, and postexercise recovery. The intraclass correlation (ICC2,k), and Bland-Altman plot analyses showed a good validity of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7 with increased error (bias) as jogging and running speed increased in the football and recreational athletes. The Apple Watch Series 6 and 7 are highly valid smartwatches at rest and different exercise intensities, with validity decreasing with increased running speed. Strength and conditioning professionals and athletes can confidently use the Apple Watch Series 6 and 7 when tracking heart rate; however, caution must be taken when running at moderate or higher speeds. The Polar H-10 can surrogate a clinical ECG for practical applications.

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