An Introduction to Your Readiness Score
Curious about your Readiness Score? In this article, we cover all the basics to help you build a foundation for understanding this score and how to act on it.
This article will outline how Oura measures your Readiness Score, what’s considered a “good” score, quick tips on how to improve your Readiness, and the various factors that may result in lower Readiness Scores.
Readiness is an overall measure of recovery that looks at your body’s responses in addition to activity levels to determine how prepared you are to take on the current day’s stressors. Your Readiness Score can range anywhere from 0-100.
Here is how your Readiness Score is displayed in the Oura app:
How Oura Measures Your Readiness Score
Your Readiness Score is calculated by using your lowest overnight resting heart rate, body temperature, any physical activity from the previous day, and a few “balance” oriented metrics including HRV, sleep and activity balance.
Think of scores that are labeled with “balance” in this way: all of these metrics have to do with 14-day weighted averages, not daily fluctuations. They compare your average over the past 14 days (with the past 2-5 days holding slightly more weight) to your long-term average over the past 2 months.
For example, activity balance looks at how much physical load your body has been under in the past 14 days compared to how much physical load your body has become accustomed to over the past 2 months. When we say the past 2-5 days hold slightly more weight in your 14-day average, this means if you completed a tough workout yesterday, it will reflect more heavily in your activity balance score in comparison to a challenging workout you completed 7 days ago.
What’s Considered a Good Readiness Score?
Anywhere between 70-85 is considered a good Readiness Score. If you’re scoring above 85, this may be a sign that you’re ready to take on more challenging days.
If you find yourself waking up to a score that’s below 70, this is a sign from your body to pay more attention to your overall recovery. Jump to the section at the bottom of this article for more details on what may be at the root of a lower Readiness Score.
Keep in mind that stabilizing or optimizing your Readiness Score on a daily basis is not necessarily the end goal. Variety in your Readiness Score is positive because it demonstrates that you are pushing your body to a reasonable degree and taking on healthy amounts of stress that are needed to build metabolic and cardiovascular strength (aka, a thriving metabolism and strong heart to keep you performing at your absolute best). The general idea is that you push yourself, recover, and then repeat this pattern.
How to Act on Your Readiness Score
If you’re looking to improve your Readiness Score and get back to an ideal state of recovery, here are some quick tips on what you can do today to improve your Readiness for tomorrow:
• Don’t complete any physical activity that is vigorous, but don’t remain completely inactive either. Do something that allows your body to get moving without placing too much strain on your system. Examples include a 20-minute walk, light yoga, or stretching.
• Take things slow, but avoid sitting at a desk or in a car all day. Specifically, avoid sitting for more than 5 hours if you can.
Factors That May Decrease Your Readiness Score
1. High and low body temperatures compared to your own long-term (~2 month) average
• High body temperatures may be a sign of stress on the body, such as illness
• Low body temperatures may be a sign of changes in your system, such as those that take place during the female menstrual cycle. Lower body temperatures have been shown to occur during the follicular phase (the 14-day period leading up to ovulation)
2. High and low resting heart rates (RHR) compared to your own long-term average
• A lower than usual RHR indicates low arousal of your nervous system; in other words, you are not challenging your body enough to remain physically fit and are likely in a state of lethargy (low energy)*
• A higher than usual RHR indicates that something is over-challenging your system to a degree that is leading to insufficient recovery
3. Heart rate variability (HRV) levels that are lower than your normal range or considerably higher than your normal range
• HRV levels lower than normal are signs of excessive load and stress on the body
• Considerably higher HRV levels are considered to be signs of low nervous system arousal*
4. Consistently getting less sleep than your body needs depending on your age
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine guidelines, the average adult (18+ years) needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to operate in a healthy manner.
5. Lower or higher activity balance scores, including your previous day activity
Activity balance is the ratio of your recent activity levels over the past 14 days compared to your long-term activity levels over the past 2 months.
• Lower activity balance scores may indicate that you are not challenging your body enough
• Higher activity balance scores may indicate that you are overexerting and pushing yourself too hard
6. Heart rate stabilization that occurs too late in the night
• Heart rate stabilization takes place when your resting heart rate (RHR) reaches a baseline, that is—when it falls within 3 BPM (beats per minute) of your lowest resting heart rate during the night.
• Keep in mind: this typically takes place before your heart rate reaches its lowest point, which can be identified by the illuminated white dot located in your RHR graph found within the sleep tab . This is because heart rate stabilization occurs slightly above your lowest resting heart rate, allowing for this event to take place earlier in the night (although this is not always the case).
For even more information on your Readiness Score, please visit The Pulse.