Intermittently, and with no pattern I can discern, my Watch measures "Heart Rate Variability". But I don't see a way to measure this on demand, and I can't find any apps that measure it directly (those that do use the camera and not Watch, and don't share with Apple Health).

How can I preform a HRV measurement on demand with Watch?

  • Maybe i'm not understanding this, but isn't HRV a measure of significant changes in your heart rate? So it would make sense that it can only show a value for HRV when there is a significant change. I guess the (slightly tongue in cheek) answer then is do something that will cause a significant change in your heart rate any time you want an on demand reading. :P – Alistair McMillan Dec 3 '17 at 14:34
  • @AlistairMcMillan No, HRV is a measure of vagal tone – orome Dec 3 '17 at 14:35
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    From Apple: "Heart rate variability (HRV) is calculated by measuring the variation between individual heartbeats. While there are multiple ways of computing HRV, HealthKit uses SDNN heart rate variability, which is calculated using the standard deviation of the inter-beat (RR) intervals between normal heartbeats (typically measured in milliseconds)." So if there are no variations (or minimal variations) between beats, isn't the value kinda meaningless? Interestingly other devices (FitBit Charge 2) also measure HRV but don't make the values available on demand. – Alistair McMillan Dec 3 '17 at 14:52
  • @AlistairMcMillan No. HRV is an important health measure.There are several apps that measure HRV on demand (with the camera). The best time to measure HRV is while resting. – orome Dec 3 '17 at 15:25

Looking at the history of HRV measurements in my Health app, they seem to correspond to times I've used the Breathe app on my phone.

It seems that doing a Breathe session will do an on-demand measurement of HRV, and this agrees with a post in the forums on MacRumors.

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