The human heart beats and generates waves within the arteries by being constricting itself. A person can feel this pulse by sensing the locations of the major arteries in his body such as the wrist, neck, and the left side of the chest. But if you want to get precise, scientific data about the functioning of your heart, you can use heart rate monitors.

The human heart rate ranges according to the age and physical condition of the person. In childhood, the human heartbeat is high. The number of fetal heartbeats per minute is about 150, and it begins to decline gradually with age. The normal heart rate in adulthood ranges between 80-100 beats per minute. 

It is worth noting that the number of heartbeats changes when exercising, as well as when doing any activity. It increases or decreases according to the effort made in exercising or doing such an activity. 

The heart rate can be measured using the fingers. By placing the thumb in the wrist area from the inner side, you can discover the radial pulse, and when you press this area a little on, you can feel the heart pulses.

The beats of the human heart are characterized by three main features: speed, regularity, and strength. A defect in any of these properties affects the functioning of the heart and causes disorders in blood circulation.

Types of heart rate monitors

Diagnosing heart functioning
with a Holter Recorder

Listed below are some of the devices used to measure heart rate: 

Holter test

 It is a small, portable device that is attached to the patient’s body for twenty-four hours to monitor the electrocardiogram and the activity of the heart rate.  Also, we can use it to diagnose cases of arrhythmia.

Using this device requires going to the hospital so that a technician would extract the recording tape from the Holter device, and then send the chart to a cardiologist.

 Pulse oximeter

 It measures the rate of the pulses and monitors the changes that occur in them, according to the degree of oximetry that occurs for each pulse through the passage of light waves over the skin. 

The oximeter is the best device people have ever used because it measures both blood oxidation rate and the number of heartbeats. It is also easy and simple to use. It is commonly used by athletes and sportsmen.

 Blood pressure trackers

Measuring heart pulses
with an oximeter

 These devices have a double function. They automatically show the rate of the heartbeat as well as the blood pressure. 

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

 This device is used to monitor abnormalities in the heartbeat and its regularity. Also, it provides a detailed report on your cardiac activity. 

Event recorder

An event recorder is a portable device that we can use to record the heart’s electrical activities in case of existing symptoms (events) that indicate that there are irregular heartbeats.

 Loop recorder

A loop recorder (ILR) is a device you can use to record your heartbeats but in normal conditions. i.e., when your heart functions normally and there are no symptoms of irregular heartbeats. 

To use it properly, it is better to go to a professional practitioner who implants the device in the patient’s body under the chest skin. The purpose is to determine any causes associated with the heart troubles such as palpitations, fainting, and very slow or fast heartbeats. These troubles can sometimes be very dangerous, as they may cause a stroke.

Electrophysiological studies 

The objective of an electrophysiological study (EP study) is to check how good the electrical system of your heart is and see if the heart rhythms are normal or not.

Who should use heart rate monitors?

People with heart diseases

Anyone who suffers from some kind of coronary heart disease or had a cerebrovascular accident (heart attack, angina pectoris, etc.) should use a heart rate monitor. Doctors usually recommend a gentle exercise routine to improve blood circulation and help regulate heartbeats. 

But those who suffer from any type of heart ailment should avoid excessive physical effort, for this may lead to other health complications such as stroke or heart failure.

Fans of heart rate monitors

These are professional athletes and trainers, who do routine exercise and need to use these devices to get sufficient, specific results about the exercise after analyzing the data they provide them with. For example, if the monitor indicates that your heartbeats are within the normal limits, despite the high physical efforts, then there is no harm to continue with the same level of exercise.

Weight loss lovers

People who want to burn calories and lose weight know that they can achieve this goal by exercising. But exercising correlates with the heartbeat. Doctors recommend that to lose weight one should exercise constantly for at least 30 minutes, and the heart rate must not exceed 120 or 130 beats per minute. 

For this reason, one should be aware of heart rhythms and measure them regularly. It is true that the harder we exercise, the more weight we lose. But health professionals say that burning calories is also a matter of time, and the longer we go, the better.

Side effects of heart rate monitors

Generally speaking, heart rate monitors are safe. But in certain cases, they may come with some negative effects. Below are some of these effects.

Microbial infection

Microbial infection can occur at the place of the device installation when the wire is twisted or the battery becomes empty. In this case, the heart trouble is doubled.

Therefore, patients, especially older people who are more likely to develop these infections, must take strong antibiotics to avoid any complications in their health condition.

Heart rate monitors may stop working

Cardiologist Norbert Smitak, a member of the German Association of Cardiologists in Munich, warned patients who use these monitors not to place electronic devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, close to their chest, as they may cause them to stop working. 

The magnetic field of a computer or phone affects the performance of the monitor’s regulator.  This may lead to an increase in heart rate and put the life of the patient at risk.

The German doctor advised heart patients to take a sufficient distance between the electronic devices and their chest, not less than 15 centimeters.


It is that after the implantation of the heartbeat regulators, especially in the first week, blood may start to coagulate. To avoid any possible clotting, patients need to take blood thinners or anticoagulants.

In addition, doctors usually advise patients not to lift any heavy objects, especially with the arm located in the area where the device is implanted.

Lung damage

Because the heart is located between the lungs, the implantation of heartbeat regulators can cause injuries to the lung, and sometimes air retention. If the patient suffers from lung problems, he is more likely to be exposed to this type of risk.

Dizziness and weakness

Another major risk of the use of pacemakers is arrhythmia. The heartbeats become faster than required, which leads to dizziness and a feeling of weakness. For the elderly, the diagnosis of this condition may be delayed for a certain period of time.

To sum up, it has been proven that heart rate monitors play an important role in preserving our heart health. Yet, their use should be under the guidance and supervision of a health professional. Otherwise, they may have very serious side effects

Finally, if you see that we have missed talking about anything related to heart rate monitors, or we have kept any of your questions unanswered, please, write them down in the comments box below. We will try to answer them as soon as possible.

Thanks for your reading.

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