Heart Education
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MINUTE READ

What Does Low Heart Rate Mean on a Fitbit ECG?

QALY Team
Fitbit ECG - Low heart rate

Key Takeaways

  • A Low Heart Rate result on a Fitbit watch ECG will come back as Inconclusive in the ECG app.
  • A Low Heart Rate result on your Fitbit watch ECG isn't always a problem.
  • Human experts on QALY can help decipher your Inconclusive ECG.

Fitbit is one of the more recent smartwatch companies to develop an ECG app for their watches. While this feature is surprisingly accurate in measuring your heart rate and rhythm, it's lacking in other key areas. For example, you may have recently taken an ECG on your Fitbit watch and received an Inconclusive: Low Heart Rate result.

From everything you've read and heard, a low heart rate means that your heart is beating too slowly and there's something wrong. Before you jump to the worst-case scenario, however, it’s worth digging a little deeper to find other possible reasons for your low heart rate.

What Does Low Heart Rate Mean on a Fitbit ECG?

The Fitbit ECG app won’t tell you the meaning of your low heart rate result. Here is what your Fitbit can tell you about your heart:

  • If your heart has a normal sinus rhythm, or if it is in Afib
  • How fast or slow your heart is beating

It's also worth noting that your Fitbit ECG only works if your heart rate is between 50 and 120 beats per minute. So, if you have a heart rate of 49, which might be perfectly normal for you, your result will come back as "Inconclusive: Low Heart Rate." This result doesn't necessarily mean that there's a problem with your heart because there are lots of reasons why people have low heart rates, including:

  • Physically fit people often have naturally low resting heart rates between 40 and 50 beats per minute
  • You're on medications that slow your heartbeat
  • You accidentally ran an ECG test while you were asleep, in which case your heart will be more relaxed and beat slower

While there are reasonable explanations for a low heart rate, there are also reasons worth investigating further.

Should You Be Worried If Your Fitbit ECG Indicates Low Heart Rate?

A low heart rate, also known as bradycardia, can be a precursor for some not-so-great health issues:

  • Strokes
  • Heart Failure
  • Sinus Node Failure
  • Thyroid problems
  • Damage to heart tissue or areas around the heart

If you have a known heart issue and a slow heartbeat is one of the symptoms, get in contact with your doctor. If you're at risk of one of the above issues, here are a few symptoms you might be experiencing:

  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Trouble focusing or having a fuzzy memory
  • Feeling overly tired for no reason
  • Tightness or pain in your chest
  • Shortness of breath


What Should You Do Next?

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should call your doctor immediately. However, if you feel perfectly fine and are simply irritated and confused by the ECG result, you should wait a few minutes and take another test. This time around, follow these steps more the most accurate ECGs:

  1. Ensure the watch is snug around your wrist.
  2. Only wear the Fitbit around the wrist you specified when you initially set up your watch.
  3. Rest your arms on a table.
  4. Don't move your arms during the test.
  5. Take the test after staying calm and resting for at least 30 minutes.


How Can QALY Help With a Low Heart Rate Reading?

If you continue getting a Low Heart Rate result no matter how many times you take the ECG test, there's still no need to get frustrated. Rather than constantly worrying about what could be happening with your heart, feel free to send your test results to the QALY app. Our team of cardiographic technicians will read your smartwatch ECG within minutes to help you make sense of them. No more confusion from Inconclusive ECGs!


Sources

Bradycardia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

What is the Fitbit ECG app?

Fitbit ECG App Physician's Guide

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