Heart rate spikes when painting - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Heart rate spikes when painting


Hi I am on medication for HBP and keep well with it. I wear a garmin watch which records my heart rate, and it it usually around 60-70's occasionally dipping as low as 47, i have had my rate checked at the doctors and i have then checked the watch and they are both the same. I have been painting recently and have noticed its been going through the roof as I'm painting. My watch is worn on the wrist of the hand that is doing all the paint work, its an outside fence so its long brush strokes, its sitting about 179 throughout the duration of painting, only settling down when I've stopped. Is it just the watch, or the activity? I run on a fairly regular basis and it usually sits at 140 then?


23 Replies

I have a garmin watch and although accurate most of the time it does have tendencies to give interesting readings, which make me laugh. For example today after a long walk and getting back home my heart rate dropped to 30 - I know this is wrong and other times I see i'm running in the high 100's again I don't believe it. The reason I don't believe it is I have checked my pulse many times manually when I get these weird and wonderful readings and they prove the readings to be incorrect, hear rate is normal and not what the watch reading says.

So my advice to you is always manually check your heart rate as the watch is mostly accurate but can give inaccurate readings occasionally.

Lucky14 in reply to FreedomOne

Thanks, I will check my pulse next time myself.

FreedomOne in reply to Lucky14

You're welcome. Failing not wanting to check your pulse manually get someone else to do the painting for you, only joking of course. Hope all is good.

Lucky14 in reply to FreedomOne

lol, the painting is whats keeping me sane 😂

FreedomOne in reply to Lucky14

Snap 🙂

Shoshov in reply to Lucky14

iv run out and ordered some from homebase. they’re opening stores tomufor 4 days to catch up with orders. thought i could pick it up tomorrow but got a message today saying i’ll get a phone call tomorrow with an appointment of when to go. knowing my luck i’ll get the last slot on sunday🤣🤣

God you're lucky - I still ca't get anything for my fences, Homebase store 15 minutes walk away - resolutely shut for the last 4 weeks

yeah they’re shut here too. i ordered online for delivery but as they’ve got too many deliveries to do they decided to allow us to collect them by opening stores for 5 days. they’ve opened so many b&q stores up here this week too

Lucky14 in reply to Shoshov

I manged to get mine from poundstretcher and at a better price than all the DIY stores.

Shoshov in reply to Lucky14

i don’t go out to shops so missed them. it keeps you sane being able to do something and get a wee uplift when you see it done. keep safe lucky❤️

Qualipop in reply to Shoshov

Yes I'd done an online order from Homebase and got an email asking whether I wanted to collect and I'd be given a time slot so they could just put it in the car or if I'd prefer to wait. I'm disabled and ousebound anyway so I chose to wait. They've been inundated.

I tried a Garmin Viviosmart HR and found it to be variable. It matched my blood pressure heart rate most of the time but when I was active, doing the sorts of things you are doing it would spike and show 140 or 150. I know from previous observations my angina starts around 100 so suspected these high readings were wrong - angina would have been unbearable. I looked at some reviews for the watch and they are not the most reliable ways to monitor heart rate, if you really want to know accurately you should get a chest strap.

My watch is going on flebay and I will manage my condition by the symptoms. My angina comes on with walking and its very predictable, albeit severe.

Might it simply be to do with the hand position? Try wearing it on the hand that’s not doing the painting and see if it varies.

Lucky14 in reply to helixhelix

Thats a good idea, i'll try that this afternoon.

Kristin1812Heart Star

I thought you meant fine art!

At life drawing I noticed my HR (on Fitbit) reached a much higher level than during my cardio exercise class!

👀 mate that's an easely created event. All depending on the subject 🍑 🎨🖌️

I also wear a Garmin watch which in general I am extremely pleased with. Just a word of warning with all watches that check your heart rate with an optical sensor they can be prone to inaccurate readings. It might seem a pain, but if you want a more accurate reading when doing physical activity, a chest heart rate strap is likely to give a more accurate reading. I have found turning my watch inwards so the face is on the inside of the wrist has helped in getting better readings.

I have a samsung watch which I have found normally consistent. However, I have noticed that positioning is everything.

Having lost some weight recently the watch was looser than normal so when out cycling I didn’t get consistent readings or the watch wouldn’t read at all. However, on a colder day I put a jacket back on which tends to hold the watch against my arm and the readings were OK.

Maybe we tend to read into it too much sometimes. 🤔

Make sure your settings in the app are correct. I have a fitbit and it can be set that you wear the watch on your dominant or non-dominant hand so assume garmin would be the same?

Oh Lordy! I am just glad that mine still beats. I look after it, of course, but I have no idea how fast it is actually going. So long as I can feel the beat when I am walking my poodly dog then I am a really happy bunny.

Stay safe everyone!

Hi Lucky,

I was steaming wallpaper off high up and my heart was pounding and weird beating, not sure it felt like my blood pressure had increased.

Keep safe


Maybe this is linked...? Spoke to an exercise physiologist (half way between doctor and physical trainer) recently on what exercise is safe to do when recovering from pericarditis.

She said the very last exercises to add back, are any that involve straining arms overhead or putting weight on the arms (eg push-ups).

So maybe the arm movements of painting are a strain on the heart?

I also get some strange “super-high” heart rates from my earphone and/or watch, but usually it is ‘directionally correct’ - I.e. it only shows a super high when I’m exerting. It’s also usually a brief super-high that returns to a more normal exercise-high.

So whilst I would check your Hr manually too, I think it’s possible that painting makes a heart work harder than we might anticipate or notice. If you feel quite tired the next day, then I’d say that could be a sign your heart has worked hard.....

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