Trends in Activity & Cardio Fitness Among AH&MS Participants

February is American Heart Month, an opportunity to raise awareness on cardiovascular disease and reflect on the importance of heart health. In observance, the Apple Heart & Movement Study team has a few updates to share:

Over a one-year period in the Study, approximately 18 million workouts were logged and analyzed across participants.  The most commonly reported activities were walking (33%), cycling (13%) and running (10%). Participants 65 years of age and older were more likely than their younger counterparts to record at least 150 minutes of activity per week.

Across all ages, participants with above average Cardio Fitness levels as estimated by Apple Watch averaged more than 200 minutes of activity per week while those with high Cardio Fitness averaged more than 300 minutes of activity per week. There are many potential reasons for these relationships, and we are working with participants through the Apple Heart & Movement Study to understand which types of activity most influence Cardio Fitness.

What is Cardio Fitness? 

Apple Watch Series 3 and later provides an estimate of cardiovascular fitness using VO2 max for users 20 years of age and older. VO2 max is typically measured during an exercise stress test performed in a laboratory setting and reflects the maximum amount of oxygen a person can consume during intense exercise. Apple Watch estimates VO2 max by measuring how your heart rate responds to various forms of physical activity such as an outdoor walk, run or hike. The algorithm used to estimate Cardio Fitness has been improved over time and considers factors that may affect heart rate such as age, sex, weight, medications, and height. Cardio fitness levels change over time with changes in age, health, and activity. Instructions on how to view your own cardio fitness levels are located at the bottom of this article.



Physical activity and cardiovascular fitness are just a few of the many important aspects of heart health. To learn more, please visit the American Heart Association’s website.

Looking Ahead

Thanks to the generosity of participants in the Apple Heart and Movement Study, we have been able to analyze these trends in ways that were not previously possible. We look forward to further exploring the effects of different workout types, specific age trends, and characterization of the dynamic effects of activity on cardiovascular fitness.

Viewing Cardio Fitness
  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone
  2. Tap browse on bottom navigation bar
  3. Tap Heart under Health Categories
  4. Tap Cardio Fitness
  • To adjust the view of your data across time, the top bar allows you navigate between day (D), week (W), month (M), 6 months (6M), and year (Y).
  • To review Cardio Fitness Level ranges by gender and age groups, click the info (i) icon

For more information, please see:


Recent Study Updates

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