FitBit data reveal major differences in average resting HR

A recent analysis of FitBit data suggests there is no one “normal” resting heart rate for humans, with users’ average HR coming in at between 40 and 109 beats per minute, Discover Magazine reported.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, involved data from more than 92,000 FitBit users who consented to their information being shared, according to Discover. Paper co-author Giorgio Quer, PhD, told the magazine that while FitBit-wearers’ average resting HRs spanned 69 BPM from one end of the spectrum to the other, peoples’ individual heart rates stayed relatively consistent over time.

According to medical literature, a normal resting heart rate falls somewhere between 60 and 100 BPM, with lower averages in elite athletes. Change in HR over time could be an effective measure of a patient’s overall wellbeing, Quer said, since even slight fluctuations could represent a departure from that person’s norm.

“Instead of focusing on a single measurement done in the clinic, it is now possible to have a longitudinal view of the changes in resting heart rate,” he said. “As we learn more, [regular heart rate monitoring could] provide information not only for cardiovascular health but also for pulmonary status, early infectious disease detection, reproductive health and likely much more.”

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