Microsoft Band: Cardio Minutes Versus Cardio Duration

Microsoft Band: Cardio Minutes Versus Cardio Duration

Ever since Microsoft delivered the leaderboards and challenges feature for the Microsoft Band, I feel a bit broken. I’m already tainted a bit, as I am a highly competitive person, but seeing the number of steps and calories expended by my Facebook friends directly in the Microsoft Health app makes me want to exercise more. So much so, that last week I recorded my first 100 mile running week ever – and it was simply because I had to put so much extra effort in during the week to keep up with my Microsoft Band friends, and I was soooo close to 100 miles anyway, that I just went for it. And, as a competitive person, as long as I keep looking at the leaderboards and my Facebook friends keep challenging me, I’ll probably do it again.

One thing I’ve noticed in this first version of the Facebook social integration is a difference between the actual number of minutes performing a cardio exercise and the number recorded in the Health app leaderboard.

I’ve seen others ask about this, too, so decided it was time to do some research into the differences. The number you see on the leaderboard might not actually be your total cardio minutes. And, there’s a reason.

According to Microsoft Health…

Cardio minutes are recorded when you're doing moderate to intense exercise. You'll accrue cardio minutes when you get your heart pumping faster, whether you're exercising, or just doing the things you already love to do, but with enough intensity to get your heart rate up. If you really work hard, you'll earn "bonus" cardio minutes.

As an example, take a look at one of my recently recorded runs. See the difference? I ran for almost 55 minutes, but because I kept my heartrate elevated, I scored more cardio minutes through a high intensity bonus.

So, the leaderboard does not record total cardio activity duration (though the Band does track it), but only cardio minutes, meaning you’ll need to do more than just walk around your office to get credit. And, the harder you exert yourself, the higher your cardio minutes count will be. Essentially – NO CHEATING!

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