How does Google Fit calculate heart points?

In this guide, we will talk about how Google Fit calculates heart points, the scientific support behind the idea of Heart Points, How does Google Fit work, why it is important to stay physically active, how Google Fit measures your heart rate, heart points based on motion detection and how to convert exercise into points. 

How does Google Fit calculate heart points?

You may wonder, How Google Fit calculates Heart Points, and the concept of Heart Points is actually something we must start with. Heart Points will be tracked when users have started to get their hearts pumping, simply put, when there is an increase in their heart rate. A Heart Point will be added for each minute of moderately intense activity like picking up the pace while you are walking your dog and will double points for more intense activities such as running or kickboxing. 

We know how important it is to keep an active lifestyle and we don’t simply mean going to the gym x amount of hours a day but also ‘moving’ more. However, getting yourself moving is perfect but if you move and add intensity is much better. Google Fit has a very different concept in regards to fitness when we compare it with other apps and it is simply motivating getting points just for walking your dog or doing simple things to keep you moving. 

Moreover, you know your heart and lungs play a vital role in cardiorespiratory fitness, which is an important measure of the ability your heart and lungs have to provide oxygen to your muscles during exercise. So Google Fit rewards its users for every activity such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking with a friend instead of sitting for a coffee. 

Behind the science of Heart Points

Google Fit has worked alongside the American Heart Association and they have made some recommendations based on federal guidelines. They have said that most adults should have at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercises like brisk walking or at least 75 minutes per week of a more vigorous exercise like running.

According to heart.org, “It just takes 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week to reach the recommended amount of physical activity proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep and increase overall mental well-being”.

Additionally, you may wonder, what do Heart Points even measure? Well, simply put, it measures your activity and we feel it encourages to keep moving and live a healthier lifestyle. You may nor be a runner but even if you are just walking around the neighbourhood you will see Heart Points (and also Move Minutes). 

How does Google Fit work?

The most interesting thing Google Fit has is tracking Heart Points and Move Points during walks, runs or bike rides using your device’s sensor (i.e. Accelerometer, GPS, etc.). Moreover, you can choose activities such as spinning, pilates or rowing. The apps can also sync the data from compatible third-party apps such as Strava, Runtastic, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal, among many others, so you can still earn Heart Points.

Why is it important to stay physically active?

The answer here is simple but some people might now know that cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by living a healthier and active lifestyle. Additionally, it is widely accepted that cardiovascular diseases are one of the major leading causes of death several countries have. This is why engaging in an active lifestyle can help lower blood pressure, boost your good cholesterol, improve your blood flow, among other benefits.

We must also add that there are also benefits towards mental health since physical activity and exercise can help boost your mood and improve your overall mental health. So, try to stay active and follow a good nutritious diet. 

How does Google Fit measure your Heart Rate?

As we have mentioned, Google Fit uses your phone’s sensors or heart rate monitor to track not only Heart Points but also other metrics. If you have a heart rate sensor on your device (i.e. smartwatch), Google Fit will calculate your heart points and steps while you exercise and you will see them displayed on the home screen.

Moreover, to best track your heart rate, tap ‘Start a Workout’ on your device. Consider that one minute at a moderate intensity heart rate, meaning, between 50% to 69% will give you one Heart Point. However, one minute at a vigorous intensity heart rate, meaning, 10% or higher will give you 2 Heart Points. 

As indicated by the Google Support website, “Note: This is the percentage of your estimated maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is based on the formula 205.8 – (0.685 x [your age, if provided])”.

Heart Points based on motion detection

Many users don’t have a heart rate sensor on their devices, however, Google can still try to recognize the type of activity you are doing and grant you Heart Points and Move Minutes. For instance, if you are doing an activity for more than one minute (at 30 steps per minute) you will earn one Move Minute. Moreover, for every minute of cycling, you will earn one Heart Point and one minute of brisk walking (100 steps or more per minute) will give you One Heart Point as well. 

Additionally, one minute of running, which involves more cardiovascular activity, will give you 2 Heart Points. We must say how wonderful it is to reward people for moving, it is extremely motivating and you are not required to spend hours at the gym or hours exercising to get some points. 

How to convert exercise into points

Google Fit follows some guidelines to convert your activity into Heart Points using the Metabolic Equivalent of Task or METs. You can earn bonus points for what is considered vigorous activity. Here are the guidelines:

  • One minute of any activity that is 3.0 to 5.9 METs = One Heart Point
  • One minute of any activity 6.0 METs or greater = 2 Heart Points

Why is this blog about How does Google Fit calculate heart points importantly?

As discussed on how Google Fit calculates Heart Point, we know now that Google rewards users with points for the amount of physical activity and effort they put into living an active lifestyle. This not only encourages users to keep moving but also helps them prevent cardiovascular diseases, reducing blood pressure, among other benefits. 

Additionally, we have seen how even an activity such as walking your dog may grant you heart points and if you keep your heart pumping with a more intense exercise you can earn double heart points. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How does Google Fit calculate heart points

How many heart points a day?

Google recommends earning at least 150 Heart Points per week which means around 22 Heart Points a day to meet the guidelines from the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization. Additionally, it is meant to help users track their activities and progress towards achieving their goals. 

Does Google fit track heart rate?

Google Fit can track Heart Rate but you will need a third-party app to do so. Additionally, you may be required to use another device (not your phone) to track your heart rate. This can be inconvenient for many users but know that there are many reliable devices out there that can track your heart rate. 

How does Google fit calculate steps?

Google Fit calculates steps according to the information collected from the motion detector sensors from your phone or perhaps a wearable device. Most devices have a pedometer which helps to count steps when certain movement is detected. 

How accurate is the Google Fit app?

The Google Fit app has divided opinions about accuracy. Some users have indicated how inaccurate the app is measuring steps or calories while others seem pretty happy with it. Remember that every app and device out there has an error margin so it is not going to be 100% accurate. 

What heart points mean?

Heart Points are the points earned when users take it up a notch and get their hearts pumping harder. It gives one point for each minute of moderately intense activity like picking up the pace while walking your dog, and double points for more intense activities like running or kickboxing.

References 

Heart.org

Support.google.com  

Earn Heart Points to stay healthy 

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