The stakes are always high leading up to the big NFL game in February. This year, they felt especially momentous, with Las Vegas as the host city, an underdog quarterback facing a two-time champion, and a certain fearless pop star (among many other celebs) in attendance.
The game turned out to be a nail-biter, going into overtime (only the second one to do so!). During the first half, the Kansas City Chiefs trailed the San Francisco 49ers, 3-10. They then rallied to put up 16 points in the second half, leading to an overtime matchup at 19-19.
To see how fans really felt during the game, Oura’s data science team took a look at anonymized heart rate data from Oura members in the two teams’ cities — Kansas City and San Francisco — plus the United States in general.
Here’s what we found:
In Kansas City, fans’ hearts were jittery leading up to kickoff, staying elevated during the first half of the game. The Chiefs’ touchdown in the second half led to a spike in heart rate, lowering when the 49ers scored a touchdown in response.
Travis Kelce’s big catch toward the end of the game resulted in the biggest spike yet — 4.2 bpm on average — followed by the game-winning touchdown in overtime, which raised the average heart rate by 4.1 bpm.
In SF, fans’ heart rates were comparatively lower than the KC fans in the first half as their team led the Chiefs. The interception spiked their heart rates, which were then tampered down by the Chiefs’ touchdown. Kelce’s catch resulted in a similar spike of 3 bpm on average.
The Chiefs’ game-winning score led to an increase of 1.5 bpm on average in SF, followed by a steep drop-off toward the end of the game.
Not everyone in the U.S. had the same heart-pumping reaction to the game. In fact, our data shows a downward trend in resting heart rates across the country as the game progressed. This is likely due to people going to sleep (and as a result, their heart rates lowering) as it got later and later.
Once Usher’s halftime show started, some people might’ve gotten up to move around to music (or maybe grab a drink and a bite to eat!) as we saw a slight increase in heart rate when he hit the stage.