leptogenesis wrote:I dunno about anyone else here, but I would find it rather difficult to run, bike, or lift with two fingers on my wrist the whole time.
With this needlessly silly "finger touch" ECG system, you could realistically only take heart rate measurements every few minutes, as opposed to continuously. I wouldn't trust the information on calories burned, or cardiovascular benefits reaped, when your instrument is working with many fewer data points...
The whole point is that these are not meant for continuous heart rate measurements. The way these work is that you measure your heart rate every so often and at points where your heart rate changes. When I use mine, I measure it at the beginning of my workout, as I'm warming up as my heart rate works up to its target zone, periodically while I'm in my target heart rate zone, and then as I cool down. If I'm doing interval training, I measure it when my interval switches (from moderate to high and back to moderate). I might take 20-30 heart rate measurements during a 40 minute workout. It sounds like a lot, but it's really just putting your fingers on the watch and pushing down a few seconds on the sensors till they record your heart rate.
What you're trading for less accurate heart rate measurements is the convenience and comfort of not having to wear a chest strap. You can just put the watch on and go. You don't even have to wear the watch as long as one hand is touching the back and the other hand touches the sensors.
In addition, you're fooling yourself if you really think the continuous heart rate monitors are "accurate" in providing you with calories burned. Look up the difference between accuracy and precision. Yes, they may provide more data points for your heart rate during a workout, but in the end the estimate of calories burned from heart rates is just that -- an estimate. So depending on the formula the heart rate monitor is using, you could just be giving it more data points for what ultimately is a garbage calorie count.
Once I reach my target heart rate, it tends to stay pretty consistent, maybe varying 10-15 beats per minute, or 6-10%. So yes, a continuous heart rate monitor will tell you what your heart rate was every second of your workout, whereas an on-demand heart rate monitor may be 10% off if I don't take enough readings, but do you really know for sure that your calorie estimation is any closer than 10% accurate with a continuous heart rate monitor? There's no way to know for sure. The calorie count it gives you could be 50% more than what you actually burn, making the difference in counts between a continuous and on-demand heart rate monitor negligible.
I do know is that for an instant in time, the on-demand measurement the Mio gives is just as accurate as the continuous monitor that uses a chest trap. I have both and have worn both at the same time and they're always withing a couple beats of each other and I've also compared them with my pulse.
Anyway, it just depends on how anal you are about having precise data on calories burned which is inaccurate to begin with. I choose the convenience of the on-demand monitor most of the time. As long as I'm consistent by comparing workouts with each other, it's more than good enough.
I will agree that these probably are not good for bike riders. They work fine for runners and are great for people lifting weights. I like not having to wear a chest strap while laying down on benches and taking deep breaths. Again, you'd take measurements during rest periods and just after lifts. I don't measure heart rate or track calorie burn while lifting weights anyway because I don't think calorie burn based on heart rate measurements during weightlifting is very accurate.