How to Interpret Biometric Readings

How to Interpret Biometric Readings

Biostrap is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult with your doctor for any medical advice.

Resting Heart Rate

A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute.

Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats a minute.

Keep in mind that many factors can influence heart rate, including:

  • Activity level
  • Fitness level
  • Air temperature
  • Body position (standing up or lying down, for example)
  • Emotions
  • Body size
  • Medications

Although there's a wide range of normal, an unusually high or low heart rate may indicate an underlying problem. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 beats a minute (tachycardia) or if you're not a trained athlete and your resting heart rate is below 60 beats a minute (bradycardia) — especially if you have other signs or symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness or shortness of breath.

Heart Rate Variability

There’s no universal answer to this, but we can take some clues from a 2010 American Journal Cardiology study by Zulfigar et al. at the U. Illinois Medical Center.  They measured the HRV of 344 healthy subjects ages 10-99. Keep in mind that these HRV values were calculated using data over a full 24-hours. As excerpted by Simon Wegerif on the Ithlete Blog, here is a plot from the Zulfigar study, showing the distribution of HRV values by age.  It shows a lot of variation by age, but a clear trend towards lower HRV as one gets older:

Blood Oxygen Saturation (SPO2)

There are some general guidelines to understanding oximeter readings and SpO2 values.

A normal healthy person should be able to achieve normal blood oxygen saturation levels (SpO2) of 94% to 99%. For patients with mild respiratory diseases, the SpO2 should be 90% or above. Supplementary oxygen should be used if SpO2 level falls below 90%, which is unacceptable for a prolonged period of time.

Your Blood Oxygen Normal Values are dependent on 

  • Your Health Condition
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Percentage of Oxygen in the Air
  • Activities You are Performing, 
  • and many other factors. 

Medical conditions like COPD, Asthma, Lung cancer and cancer treatments like chemotherapy, and smoking habit can affect the lungs capacity to transfer oxygen to the blood, thus bringing down your blood oxygen levels in a permanent way. The best place to get the answer to your questions is in your doctor's office.

Respiratory Rate

The respiration rate is the rate at which a person breathes. It increases with fever and some illnesses. The best time to count the respiration rate is when a person is resting.

Normal resting breathing rate:

  • Newborn to 6 months: 30-60 breaths per minute
  • 6-12 months: 24-30 breaths per minute
  • 1-5 years: 20-30 breaths per minute
  • 6-12 years: 12-20 breaths per minute
  • 12 years and older: 12-20 breaths per minute
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