The data collected by Withings demonstrates which sports are optimal for cardiovascular health

It would appear that different sports have different effects on one’s cardiovascular health. A recent study conducted by Withings identifies the activities that put the most strain on our hearts and examines how this connects to our general level of fitness.

Researchers now have access to an unfathomably larger quantity of data than ever before as a result of the proliferation of wearable technologies such as fitness trackers and smartwatches. However, companies that make wearables have also come to realize the importance of having access to information of this kind. Withings has taken a page out of Fitbit’s playbook and begun soliciting feedback from its customer base in order to generate intriguing insights.

For the purpose of the study, the company that is owned by Nokia pooled and anonymized the heart rate data of more than 42,000 of its Steel HR users. People who desire something that blends the look and feel of a traditional watch with the capabilities that are present in today’s smartwatches are the target audience for this particular product from Withings. Steel HR blends the advantages of both worlds and comes equipped with a significant amount of intelligence under the hood. In addition to that, it is the only device of its type that can monitor your heart rate.

In order to meet the requirements of the study, participants needed to have engaged in some type of physical activity at least 15 times in the period of time immediately preceding the study. Both the maximal heart rate (HRmax) and the average heart rate over the course of the night were taken into consideration.

The highest heart rate that an individual is capable of reaching without experiencing significant issues as a result of activity or stress. HRmax often declines with increasing age. Typically, estimating a person’s maximal heart rate typically involves using some sort of mathematical calculation. This is done for practical reasons. The formula “HRmax = 220 age” is the one that is used most frequently.

The term “resting heart rate” refers to the rate at which a person’s heart beats when they are awake, in an environment with a neutral temperature, and have not been subjected to any recent physical activity or mental stimulation. Adults typically have a resting heart rate that ranges from sixty to one hundred beats per minute. It is not unheard of for endurance athletes competing at the highest levels to have a resting heart rate that ranges from 33 to 50 beats per minute (bpm). One of the finest measures of your general health and fitness is the heart rate that you have when you are at rest. Although Steel HR does not provide values for the resting heart rate, it does provide an overage overnight heart rate, which should correlate well with the resting heart rate.

The following graph displays the highest heart rate value of participants in the study, as well as the relationship between this value and their average heart rate when sleeping.

A lower resting heart rate is generally associated with participating in physically demanding activities like sports, which put additional strain on the heart. However, we do observe some deviations from this overall tendency in certain instances.

It would appear that skiers are the fittest of the lot, followed by swimmers, runners, soccer players, squash players, and bikers in that order. Skiers appear to be in the lead. On the other hand, we have hobbies such as hiking, Pilates, yoga, and dancing. These are all unquestionably healthy activities, but they do not require as much effort from your heart.

According to the conclusion reached by Withings, which is correct, “any physical activity is better than none,” but activities that induce a greater peak heart rate may be the most helpful to one’s overall heart health.

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