Google

Smartphones can be great tools for keeping track of health and fitness data. Google Fit on Android devices makes it easy to track not only your exercises but also your heart and respiratory rates, no special equipment required.

All you’ll need is the Google Fit app and an Android phone to use these features. They were first introduced on Google Pixel phones, so they may not be available on every single Android device at present.

RELATED: How to Export Your Google Fit Data

First, open the Google Fit app on your Android device and sign in with your Google account.

sign in to google fit

If this is your first time signing in, you’ll be asked to enter some information about yourself, including your gender, birthday, weight, and height. Tap “Next” when you’re done.

enter personal information

If you’d like, you can also enable automatic activity tracking, although this is not required.

activity tracking

With the initial setup out of the way, we can now use the heart rate and respiratory rate features.

Check Your Heart Rate with Google Fit

Open Google Fit and look for the “Check Your Heart Rate” introduction card, or the “Heart Rate” card. If you don’t see either one, the feature is not available on your Android device.

heart rate cards

Next, the screen will explain that you’ll be using the phone’s camera to measure your heart rate. Tap “Next” to proceed.

tap next to use camera

The next screen will instruct you to place your finger over the primary rear-facing camera lens. Tap “Next” again.

tap next to use finger

Since this uses the camera, you’ll need to allow Google Fit to take pictures and record video. Give it permission to proceed.

give camera permission

Now you can place your finger on the lens and tap “Start Measurement.”

put finger on lens and measure

A viewfinder will appear. You should place your finger so that it’s completely covering the camera. You can turn on your phone’s flashlight if you’re in a dark room. Make sure to stay as still as possible while it’s measuring.

put finger on lens

Once that’s complete, you’ll see your results, and you can “Save Measurement” to your account.

save measurement

Check Your Breathing with Google Fit

Open Google Fit and look for the “Track Your Respiratory Rate” introduction card, or the “Respiratory Rate” card. If you don’t see either one, the feature is not available on your Android phone or tablet.

track respiratory rate

First, the screen will explain that it will use your camera to measure your breathing. Tap “Next” to proceed.

tap next

The onscreen interface will explain how to position yourself and will instruct you to remove any items that might get in the way. Tap “Next” again.

tap next again

If you’re ready, prop up your phone and select “Start Measurement.”

start measurement

Since this uses the camera, you’ll need to allow Google Fit to take pictures and record video. Give it permission to proceed.

give camera permission

The viewfinder will open and you can move into position. Once your head and chest are detected, it will start measuring. Try to stay as still as possible.

Once the recording is done, you’ll see your results, and you can “Save Measurement.”

save measurement


How accurate are these measurements? Google says that they aren’t meant to be used for a medical diagnosis or to evaluate medical conditions. You’re not going to get the same level of accuracy as you would with real medical equipment. Still, it’s neat for casual health and fitness tracking.

Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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