Apple is expanding the range of measurable cardiospiratory fitness in the Apple Watch. As of today, health app users can have “high,” “above average”, “below average” or “low” cardio fitness. Low levels trigger notification.
The watch tracks fitness by a metric called VO2 Max, which is the amount of oxygen your body consumes during movement or exercise. The Apple Watch tracks average and high VO2 highs for users who are already exercising. This update expands the scope it measures and allows users to see their levels while they are running, not just when they are working.
Apple Said It tracks the lower ranges of the VO2 Max by using watch sensors such as a heart rate monitor and accelerometer. Generally, VO2 is maximized using specialized equipment in the laboratory when someone is exercising on a treadmill or other equipment.
“The Apple Watch now brings low cardio fitness levels directly from the clinic to the consumer’s wrist, so people are more aware of how to improve their long – term health through daily activities,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer. Press release.
Wearing a watch certainly takes less time than going to the lab, but it may not be as accurate. Studies When Garmin and Polar smartwatches were compared to a regular lab test, it was found that the clocks stopped 5 percent. Apple has not reported how well the watch compares with traditional, clinical VO2 max measurement methods.