Global fit-tech giant Fitbit has released data collected from their 25 million active users that has identified the United States and Singapore as the countries with the highest resting heart rate.
“Resting heart rate is an important metric for users to gauge their cardiovascular health, track fitness levels, check stress levels, and recognize early signs of illness or health issues,” said Dr. Scott McLean, Principal Research Scientist at Fitbit.
Both the US and Singapore recorded average resting heart rates of 65.9 BPM. Australians are also significantly higher than the rest of the world, with a slightly worrying average of 64.9 BPM. So who is leading the charge when it comes to fitness? Italy apparently, with a very sound average resting heart rate of 61.9 BPM.
While a resting heart rate of between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM) is considered healthy, it is generally acknowledged in the scientific community that a lower resting heart rate is a reflection of a fitter individual. According to one report from Harvard University, a higher resting heart rate can increase your mortality by up to 90 per cent.
The information was released this week to mark Heart Health Month, following 18 months of analysis and whilst the results are definitely valid, coming from over 108 billion hours of heart rate data, it’s important to note that the data does come with some limitations. Resting heart rate is only one factor associated with health and fitness, and this is recognized by McLean and his team.
“When tracking resting heart rate, users should be aware of other factors such as differences between gender, age, seasonal changes and outdoor temperature, daily sleep and activity levels, and caffeine intake,” said Dr. McLean. Temperature and caffeine intake are definitely factors that could impact results in Singapore and the US respectively.
It’s also important to note that Fitbit technology is not immediately accessible to the entire human population, and fitness trackers are not a necessity in developing countries.
Interestingly, the statistics also identified gender trends in resting heart rate. According to Fitbit, women have a higher average resting heart rate than men by a staggering 3 BPM.