Heart Rate Spikes During Reading
Heart rate spikes like those seen in your reading happen when the app receives erroneous R-R intervals from the monitor. If there are many spikes, it may look like this on the chart:
Here are the most common reasons that heart rate monitors start transmitting erroneous R-R intervals:
- Strap needs to be moistened more thoroughly.
- Strap could be moving across skin while breathing or moving and tightness needs adjustment (see below for solution). Sometimes, the strap just loosens over time and then hits a threshold where it starts giving problems. This is especially common for users that exercise in their heart rate monitor or share their monitor with another person. Simply adjusting the desired tightness can reduce HR spikes. If you think the HR monitor may be moving across your skin while breathing or moving, do the following after putting it on:
- Ensure the strap is as tight as comfortably possible around your chest (avoid discomfort)
- Gently but firmly press two fingers into the monitor towards your chest
- While pressing towards your chest move it slightly left and right to remove any slack in the strap
- Strap fabric has worn out creating sensor movement against skin when breathing, etc. The strap needs replacing at this point.
- HR monitor battery could be low – this can even happen in newer monitors sometimes, and replacements are available for a few dollars at many stores. HRMs are notoriously bad at providing an accurate battery level. We have even seen battery replacement helping people that had their HRM showing a 90% battery.
- Note: The battery for most chest straps needs to be replaced about every 6 months to ensure adequate power for accurate RR interval detection.
- HR monitor built up residual charge and needs to be discharged. Sometimes the heart rate monitor can retain some residual charge that causes interference in the signal. Follow the steps below to remove any residual charge and allow for a cleaner signal. Depending on the monitor, this may have to be done every once in a while. How to discharge your heart rate monitor:
- Unpair the heart rate monitor from your phone/tablet and from Elite HRV
- Remove the battery from your heart rate monitor
- Close the battery slot (empty, do not put the battery back in)
- Put on the chest strap heart rate monitor as you would normally but without the battery in it
- Wear it for 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Remove the strap
- Reinstall the battery into the monitor
- Put on the chest strap and monitor as you would normally (moisten the strap)
- Pair the monitor with your phone/tablet and/or in the Elite HRV app