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HEALTH SCIENCE

Do not monitor your health based on your gut feeling. Using hard data can help you unlock your body's secrets.

Heart Rate

What is heart rate and what can it tell us?

Heart rate is the number of heart beats per minute. Tracking heart rate is a clear and convenient way to measure exercise intensity and get insights into your health. One of the body's most important vital signs, heart rate differs due to factors such as age, gender and other physical characteristics. One of the body's most important vital signs, heart rate differs due to factors such as age, gender and other physical characteristics. Generally, a normal at rest adult heart rate averages around 75 beats per minute (bpm) (between 60 - 100 bpm).

Generally, a normal at rest adult heart rate averages around 75 beats per minute (bpm) (between 60 - 100 bpm).

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

Do you know your heart beat does not always keep a steady rhythm?

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is the variation in time / interval between each heartbeat.

Your heart doesn't keep a steady beat like a metronome. Actually, variation in heart beat is normal and healthy. HRV data can be used to measure physical indicators such as stress, body battery, maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and lactate threshold. Devices equipped with Garmin's optical heart rate technology can also use HRV to assess your sleep quality.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

To understanding how Garmin use HRV to provide accurate health information to users, the key is to know why our heart rate changes in different circumstances.

The heart is controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which governs bodily functions not under conscious control. The ANS has two major parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. When you experience stress, the sympathetic nervous system becomes active. It sets the ANS in a state of alertness. Conversely, the parasympathetic nervous system operates when the body is at rest and free of danger, humming away in a more relaxed fashion. That means that when the sympathetic nervous system is engaged, your heart rate will usually increase and it will beat to a more consistent tempo. This corresponds to a decrease in heart rate variability.

By contrast, when the parasympathetic nervous system is active, your heart rate slows down. When your body physical needs have been met, your heart doesn't need to beat as frequently, and each beat is less regular and distinct than when under stressful conditions. In other words, your heart rate variabilty has increased. Because of this connection, measuring HRV is an ideal way to track the interplay between the two parts of your autonomic nervous system and assess your body's stress levels. Higher HRV signifies lower stress.

How does Garmin detect heart rate?

By wearing a device equipped with Garmin Elevate optical heart rate, you can continually track your heart rate 24 hours a day. The device senses and displays your heart rate instantly in real time, and by using the Garmin Connect app you can view longer term data to identify trends and better understand your health.

Heart Rate The device senses and displays your heart rate instantly in real time, and by using the Garmin Connect app you can view longer term data to identify trends and better understand your health.

Respiration Rate

Respiration rate measures your average number of breaths each minute (brpm) over each day, tracking each inhalation and exhalation using optical pulse rate technology. A low respiration rate while your body is at rest is usually a sign of good health. An adult at rest will normally record a respiration rate of between 12 to 20 brpm.

If your respiration rate at rest is higher or lower than average, it can indicate potential health or air quality problems.

Respiration rate measures your average number of breaths each minute (brpm) over each day An adult at rest will normally record a respiration rate of between 12 to 20 brpm.

Stress Tracking

What does stress data represent?

Stress data is derived from your HRV. Stressful experiences influence our heart's activity. Generally speaking, lower HRV means your body is experiencing stress. Likewise, a higher HRV can indicate a reduction in stress levels, or that you have adapted to better handle stressful situations. Training, physical activity, sleep, nutritional intake and everyday pressures can all influence your stress levels.

Stress levels are calculated on a scale from zero to 100. A score from zero to 25 indicates low stress levels, 26 to 50 indicates medium stress levels, 51 to 75 signifies high stress levels and 76 to 100 represents extremely high stress. This function can help you understand your daily stress levels and make timely adjustments to keep stress in check.

Stress Tracking Stress Tracking

When your stress score exceeds 50, you can…

  1. Stand up and go for a walk. Close your eyes and breath deeply.
  2. Take a break from what you are focusing on, perhaps listen to some music.
  3. Take a shower/bath or catch up on sleep to give your body a chance to recuperate.

Appropriate stress levels help us to function better, but excessive stress can be detrimental to our health. There are no definite methods for how to relieve stress, you need to try different approaches to find what works for you.

stress score

Body Battery

Body Battery analyzes HRV, stress levels, sleep quality and daily activity levels to gauge users' personal store of physical energy.

It is displayed using an energy scale from zero to 100. The larger the score, the larger the store of energy that you wil be able to devote to that day's activities. If the score is too low, it is a sign that you need to take a rest.

Body Battery can assist users to manage their daily activity, when your score is higher it means you have sufficient physical and mental energy to put your body to the test. When the score is lower, it might be a good idea to take a rest. Tracking your Body Battery score can help you improve your daily routines. For example, if your Body Battery is low in the morning, you can review your previous days' activity data to analyze why you are low on energy.

Body Battery Body Battery

Pulse Ox (SpO2)

Garmin devices use Pulse Ox sensors to calculate blood oxygen saturation. Pulse Ox is one of the most reliable technologies for detecting blood oxygen saturation. Our cardiovascular system is responsible for distributing oxygen throughout our bodies. Blood oxygen saturation (Sp02) is a valuable indicator of health and physiological function. By tracking your blood oxygen saturation, you can better understand your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, a body at rest at sea level should have blood oxygen saturation between 95 to 100 per cent. Below 90 per cent is considered excessively low.

Pulse Ox (SpO2) Pulse Ox (SpO2)

If you particpate in activities at high altitudes, SpO2 can help you to assess your body's acclimatization, and track increases or decreases in your blood oxygen saturation as your altitude changes. Monitoring changes in your SpO2 during sleep is useful for identifying sleep disorders, and tracking it while awake can provide insights into our physical performance under all kinds of conditions, helping you keep track of longer-term trends in your personal health.

Pulse Ox (SpO2) According to the Mayo Clinic, a body at rest at sea level should have blood oxygen saturation between 95 to 100 per cent. Below 90 per cent is considered excessively low.

Advanced Sleep Monitoring

Advanced Sleep MonitoringSleep monitoring technology analyzes heart rate, HRV, blood oxygen, respiration and activity level data. Every night, you go through different sleep stages that alternate in cyclic waves: light sleep, deep sleep and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

Light Sleep、Deep Sleep and REM Sleep Stage 1. Light Sleep: As your body prepares to enter deep sleep, eye movement and muscle activity decreases. This kind of sleep helps your body relax.

Stage 2. Deep Sleep: During deep sleep, eye movement and muscle activity totally stops and your heart rate and breathing slow. Your body enters a restorative mode, building bone and muscle tissue and boosting immune function.

Stage 3. REM Sleep: As you leave deep sleep, the length of each cycle increases from shorter to longer periods. REM sleep is when we dream, a time when the brain is almost as active as when awake.
* Some devices do not support blood oxygen and respiration rate sensing.


How can you improve sleep quality?

  1. Cultivate regular sleep patterns, try to go to sleep and get up at regular times.
  2. Before sleeping, avoid stimulants and try to eat in moderate amounts. This way you can avoid indigestion or hunger pangs that can affect your sleep quality.
  3. Try to partake in some physical activity in the evening. Increasing the difference in your body temperature between daylight and night can promote deeper sleep.

Many other factors can influence sleep quality, including age, environment, shifting between time zones, your previous night's sleep quality, medication, alcohol consumption, and sleep disorders such as hypersomnia and sleep apnea.


Score Your Sleep Every Night

The sleep tracking widget on Garmin smartwatches analyzes the user’s HRV, respiratory rate, heart rate, body movement, and bedtime to give every night's sleep a score. The watch detects the user’s sleep quality in each phase, which includes light sleep, deep sleep, REM, and being awake. It considers the user’s physiological measurements and the training data during the day to calculate the sleep score and offer feedback. The score can be divided into 4 levels. Score 100: A very good sleep. Your bedtime is enough and your sleep is mostly restorative sleep. Score 80-99: You are sleeping well and have sufficient rest. Score 50-79: You have a moderate amount of sleep. Score 0-49: Your sleep quality should be improved. We suggest users track their sleep every day and gradually adjust your sleep routine to get a healthy amount of rest. To get a more accurate score, it is recommended that users wear the watch on the wrist all day.
* The sleep score widget feature is only available on fēnix 6 and MARQ series.

Score Your Sleep Every Night Score Your Sleep Every Night Score Your Sleep Every Night

Menstrual Cycle Tracking

Menstrual cycle tracking functions can predict periods of menstruation and ovulation, and also allow you to manually record associated physical phenomena such as period pain or acne. Continuous long-term monitoring is matched with features such as in-app nutritional suggestions, helping you to better understand how your body's reacts to each stage in your cycle and plan accordingly.

Women with an irregular menstural cycle or who are entering menopause can still benefit by using this function to keep track of your physical condition in a holistic fashion and to access health information.

* Garmin wearable devices and accessories are not medical products and should be used for reference purposes only. They must not be used to diagnose, treat, alleviate or predict any disease or illness. Before using, users should assess their personal physical condition and seek advice from medical professionals.
Menstrual Cycle Tracking Continuous long-term monitoring is matched with features such as in-app nutritional suggestions, helping you to better understand how your body's reacts to each stage in your cycle and plan accordingly.