Microsoft has turned to the Amgen Tour of California to monitor professional cyclists using its Band 2 activity tracker and determine the way their body reacts to extensive exercise over the course of several days.

The company thus asked several cyclists to wear the Microsoft Band 2 during the stages of the 8-day cycling race and thus let it monitor information such as heart rate, distance, and UV exposure. Furthermore, all cyclists involved in the research had to sleep with the Band 2 samples on in order to analyze sleep patterns after intense effort.

The results that Microsoft collected after this research show that it takes up to several hours (or even a full day) to turn to normal levels after a hard effort. Will Barta of Axeon Hagens Berman wore the Band 2 during Stage 2 to show that heart rate levels return to normal gradually after the race, but Microsoft emphasizes that it’s absolutely vital for a cyclist to sleep after such a serious strain.

Cyclists sleep more than the average office worker

“Post-race activities such as quality nutrition, massages, and relaxing (mentally and physically) all speed up the recovery process but sleep is the time for the body to main gains. It’s not uncommon for a pro cyclist to sleep more than 10 hours during a stage race to maximize recover,” the company explains.

Sleep patterns show that, although the heart rate activity was back to normal by bedtime, cyclists recorded a low amount of restful sleep, and they woke up several times during the night.

Interestingly, Microsoft says that a professional cyclist or a highly trained athlete has a low heart rate while sleeping, which can go as down as 40 beats per minute. Furthermore, it’s absolutely normal for cyclists to experience different cycles of light and deep sleep each night after taking part in a race.

While these stats are helpful for those who want to become professional athletes, it also helps Microsoft better tweak its devices to provide accurate data during various sports. With the Band 3 just around the corner, everyone expects not only improved design but also more advanced info as far as activity tracking is concerned.

Sleep patterns of a professional cyclist

Sleep patterns of a professional cyclist

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