watchOS 7.2 and iOS 14.3 Add Cardio Fitness Notifications

Today's watchOS 7.2 and iOS 14.3 updates introduce a new cardio fitness feature that's designed to let users determine their cardio fitness level and receive notifications on the Apple Watch if it falls into a low range.

watchos 7 cardio fitness 1
Apple says that "breakthrough technology" in watchOS 7 lets the Apple Watch determine cardiorespiratory fitness as measured by VO2 max. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that the body is able to use during exercise, and it can be improved through physical activity.

Prior to now the Apple Watch was already able to estimate higher levels of VO2 max during outdoor walks, runs, or hikes, but by taking advantage of all of the sensors in the Apple Watch, in watchOS 7.2 it's now possible for the watch to take cardio fitness measurements as users walk throughout the day, regardless of whether they're tracking a workout.

"Cardio fitness is increasingly recognized as a powerful predictor of overall health, and with today's update to watchOS 7, we are making it even more accessible to more people," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. "Using its advanced sensors, Apple Watch now brings estimation of low cardio fitness levels from clinics directly to a user's wrist, so people have more insight into how they can improve their long-term health through daily activity."

This functionality lets Apple Watch better measure VO2 Max for users who don't often do high-intensity workouts. In a press release announcing the new feature, Apple says that a 2016 study from the American Heart Association recognized a link between low cardio fitness and higher risk of significant health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure later in life.

watchos 7 cardio fitness 2
Cardio Fitness is available as a new category in the Health app on iPhone, and fitness level is classified as high, above average, below average, or low relative to people in your same age group and of the same sex. Users can also track how their cardio fitness levels have changed over the past week, month, or year, and if fitness levels fall into the low range, they can get a notification on Apple Watch that includes guidance on improving it.

Related Roundup: watchOS 10
Related Forums: iOS 14, Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

ArtOfWarfare Avatar
44 months ago
Is this for all Apple Watches that can run watchOS 7, or is it only for some of them?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
44 months ago

Is this for all Apple Watches that can run watchOS 7, or is it only for some of them?
my assumption is for all watchOS 7 watches - have not seen/read anything to the contrary ...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
StuBeck Avatar
44 months ago
Does this improve from earlier versions of watch os 7? I ran the beta OS all summer and went from barely being able to run for 5 minutes to running a 10k in November. It said there was zero change in my vo2 max. I'm sure something changed durng that time period.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JM Avatar
44 months ago
Yo, if this works as advertised, then this is awesome for people who work all day and want to make sure they're being active enough to be "healthy"!

That's me. I work all day and worry if I'm being active enough. Me. I want to be healthy.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imola.zhp Avatar
44 months ago

Is this for all Apple Watches that can run watchOS 7, or is it only for some of them?
In the notes for the update on my Apple Watch Series 4 it notes this as an added feature. I figured it would only be for Series 6, crossing fingers it is true.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yellowbean12 Avatar
44 months ago
This will be interesting for me as a cyclist. I do a lot of cardio exercise with my watch but because almost none of it is walking or running, my VO2 readings are very few and far between.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
maxresdefault

Apple Announces 'Let Loose' Event on May 7 Amid Rumors of New iPads

Tuesday April 23, 2024 7:11 am PDT by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. The event invitation has a tagline of "Let Loose" and shows an artistic render of an Apple Pencil, suggesting that iPads will be a focus of the event. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Orange Feature 2

Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipments as Demand Falls 'Sharply Beyond Expectations'

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple has dropped the number of Vision Pro units that it plans to ship in 2024, going from an expected 700 to 800k units to just 400k to 450k units, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Orders have been scaled back before the Vision Pro has launched in markets outside of the United States, which Kuo says is a sign that demand in the U.S. has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." As a...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, SEGA Genesis,...
iPad And Calculator App Feature

Apple Finally Plans to Release a Calculator App for iPad Later This Year

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:08 am PDT by
Apple is finally planning a Calculator app for the iPad, over 14 years after launching the device, according to a source familiar with the matter. iPadOS 18 will include a built-in Calculator app for all iPad models that are compatible with the software update, which is expected to be unveiled during the opening keynote of Apple's annual developers conference WWDC on June 10. The lack of ...