The Apple Watch is generally an excellent companion for users interested in health and fitness. But it may have a weakness.
Apple’s flagship wearable sports an optical heart rate monitor that can give very accurate readings, and there’s a slew of reports that it has helped to alert people of dangerous heart-related conditions.
On the other hand, there’s a well-documented issue concerning the Apple Watch and sweat. Basically, excessive sweating during high-intensity workouts or high temperatures can cause the Apple Watch’s accuracy to falter.
In most cases, the readings will come out much lower than they should. This, of course, isn’t ideal for accurate health or fitness data and tracking. Since it’s usually reported during sweaty sessions, the sweat is presumably the problem.
Apple notes that, even under ideal conditions, the Watch may not be able to consistently give accurate readings. It’s also generally going to be more accurate for runs and bike rides than high-intensity or weightlifting exercises.
With that in mind, there are a few things you can try to help mitigate any sweat-related issues. Here are various methods that worked for users.
Wipe the Watch and your wrist.
Generally, wiping the sweat from the underside of the Watch and the wrist will fix the inaccuracy issue. But, of course, when the wrist gets sweaty again the problem may persist — so this is a quick fix but not a long-term solution.
Flip it around.
Some users report that wearing an Apple Watch on the underside of their wrist can help accuracy when lifting weights or using weight machines.
Apple doesn’t recommend this itself, so your own mileage may vary.
Wear a wristband.
Reportedly, wearing a wristband over the Apple Watch can help with readings. Similarly, loosening the strap and wearing the Watch higher up on the wrist, as well as using a wristband to keep it from sliding down, seems to help some users.
Break out the deodorant.
At least one Apple Watch owner recommended putting a little antiperspirant on the wrist to keep sweat and oils at bay.
Wear it on your arm.
You can use a third-party armband accessory, like this one, to mount your Apple Watch on your arm. Depending on your body, this could help to reduce accuracy issues if your wrists are the culprit.
Use an external monitor.
If your Apple Watch is giving you trouble and accuracy is particularly important to you, you could always use an external heart rate monitor. You have options, too. Chest-mounted monitors seem to work well for many people.
Others prefer arm- or wrist-worn monitors. For the most part, these will be able to work and sync with your iPhone and Apple Watch — but be sure to check compatibility.