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April 23, 2021

What’s Typical? WHOOP Member Averages for Recovery, Strain, Sleep, HRV & Much More

We take a look at aggregate data averages across all the metrics we track, including recovery, strain, sleep, HRV, resting heart rate, respiratory rate and many more.

By Mark Van Deusen

Curious how you stack up compared to the rest of the WHOOP population? We explore “what’s typical” for all aspects of your data, from average time in bed to recovery norms by day of the week. It’s all broken down based on the three pillars of WHOOP, recovery, strain and sleep.

Recovery

Starting with the basics, the average daily recovery for WHOOP members is 58%. That number peaks at the beginning of the work week, then dips gradually as the week progresses. Females generally have slightly higher recoveries than males do (about 1%), and even more so on weekends (roughly 2%):

The average daily recovery of WHOOP members for each day of the week.

Heart Rate Variability

A major contributor to your daily recovery is heart rate variability (HRV). The average HRV for WHOOP members is 64 ms, but it is a metric that fluctuates significantly. Below you can see ranges for the middle 50% of people based on age (HRV usually declines as you get older):

Resting Heart Rate

Resting heart rate (RHR) is also factored into recovery. WHOOP members’ average RHR is 56 bpm, which increases slightly with age (females’ RHR is a bit higher than males’):

A chart depicting the average resting heart rate for men and women between the ages of 20 and 50, as tracked by WHOOP.

Respiratory Rate

And finally, the last metric we use to calculate recovery (other than sleep, more on that to come) is respiratory rate, your average breaths per minute while sleeping. For most WHOOP members this is between 13 and 18:

A chart depicting the normal respiratory rate of WHOOP members.

The distribution of all respiratory rates recorded in a 1-week Span. Learn more: CASE STUDIES IN RESPIRATORY RATE IN TIME OF COVID-19

Strain’s Effect on Recovery

It’s also worth noting the impact of strain on next-day recovery. The graphic that follows shows the decrease in average daily recovery in relation to increased strain the day before. For example, spanning everyone who had a 15 strain yesterday, their average recovery today was just shy of 56%:

Increased strain reduces next-day recovery on WHOOP.

Strain by Age

The average day strain for WHOOP members is about 11.0 on our 0-21 scale (it dropped due to COVID restrictions, but is now starting to rise again). For the most part, older people take on less strain than younger people:

Average daily WHOOP strain based on age.

Activity Strain

Below are the 10 activities most frequently logged in the WHOOP app, and the average strain accrued for each (duration is not factored in, which is why something like golf, which people often play for several hours, may be higher than expected):

The average strain for each of the 10 most common activities logged in the WHOOP app.

Average strain for the 10 most popular activities on WHOOP

To better account for exercise intensity, here are the average strains for 1 hour of each of the same 10 activities (keep in mind workouts like running and cycling people regularly do continuously for an entire hour, but with weightlifting and functional fitness they usually take breaks):

Sleep Amount & Bed/Wake Times

WHOOP members average 8:02 in bed each night, and sleep for 7:11 of that time. This chart displays the distribution of bed and wake times:

A chart showing the average times WHOOP members fall asleep each night and wake up each day.

Time in Bed by Day of Week

Time in bed increases on the weekends, even though recovery drops (discussed above):

The average time spent in bed by day of week, as tracked by WHOOP.

Sleep Stage Durations

Here is a percentage breakdown of average time spent in the 4 stages of sleep:

REM sleep, in particular, tends to decrease with age:

Sleep Performance

The daily “sleep performance” metric you see in the app every morning represents the percentage of sleep you actually got in relation to your sleep need. Our members’ typical sleep performance is 82%:

A graphic displaying percentage of sleep need WHOOP members actually get.

This results in an average nightly sleep debt of 43 minutes.

 

Learn More: What Sleep Looks Like on WHOOP – Averages for Duration, Stages, Consistency, Naps & Other Stats

 

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Mark Van Deusen

Mark Van Deusen is the Content Manager at WHOOP. Before joining WHOOP, Mark served as the Managing Editor and Head Writer for CelticsLife.com. He was also a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a contributor at Yahoo Sports. A former tennis coach, Mark graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in Sociology and Leadership Studies.

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