That's how I understand it as well. Here's how it's explained on the echelon website.
We give points for each minute you are in each zone, then that is divided by 60 to give your per second to give you your score. For example: If you are in the Orange zone for a minute you would b...
We give points for each minute you are in each zone, then that is divided by 60 to give your per second to give you your score.
For example: If you are in the Orange zone for a minute you would be allocated 15 points, your leaderboard will show 15/60 per second, so .25 per second, to add up to 15 for that minute, if you drop below within that minute you will get the point value associated with that heart rate level.
See below explanations.
For Green 0
Light green 5 per minute in this zone/60 .083 per second
Yellow 10 per minute in this zone/60 .16 per second
Orange 15 per minute in this zone/60 .25 per second
Red 20 per minute in this zone/60 .33 per second
Zone 1 (Green): This is an active recovery zone or all-day pace type of zone. Trained athletes will use this zone for recovery while novice exercisers will want to spend some time here to learn the feel of exercise. This zone is good for weight loss, conditioning the metabolism, and training the body for basic movement. This is generally 50%-60% of the max HR (although we do not recommend that system) and should feel very easy for breathing and workload. You should be able to hold this level of exercise pretty much all day. In this zone, you should be able to speak comfortably and hold a complete conversation.
Zone 2 (Light Green): Zone 2 is the longer (think IronMan) and basic endurance zone. This training zone teaches the body to prefer fat as its primary source of fuel. Exercise at this level helps improve the body for aerobic exercise on the cellular level by increasing mitochondria and enzymes required for the metabolism of fat. At this level of exercise, you should still be able to breathe comfortably and only have a light load on the muscles with light sweating. I call this misty. You should be able to hold this level of exercise for up to 4-8 hours depending on your level of training. For many, upper Zone 2 (almost Zone 3) is their marathon pace. In this zone, you should be able to speak comfortably but notice that your respiration is getting a little harder.
Zone 3 (Yellow): Zone 3 is the aerobic zone and moderate exercise. This is for shorter endurance (think Marathon) and general cardiovascular development and aerobic fitness. This zone is characterized by light muscular fatigue, moderate sweating, and moderate breathing. In Zone 3, you should be able to speak, but you may have to breathe after each sentence or two. You should not be able to chatter along in Zone 3. Zone 3 is where you really begin to work on cardiovascular development, so it really benefits everyone. For more advanced athletes, Zone 3 is their marathon pace, but for most, that would be too long to hold on to Zone 3. The average person should be able to hold onto Zone 3 for 1-3 hours.
Zone 4 (Orange): Zone 4 is the hard zone and is used to increase an athlete’s performance capacity. This zone is just below the lactate threshold, so working in it teaches us to push as hard as we can without going breathless, which is a delicate line. At this level of exercise, you should not be able to breathe comfortably, but you should not be breathless. There should be a heavy load on the muscles with heavy sweating. I call this zone hard but sustainable. You should be able to hold this level of exercise for 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on your level of training. For many, Zone 4 is their half marathon pace. In this zone, you should be able to still speak, but you will probably not want to.
Zone 5 (Red): Zone 5 is all out and is used to increase maximum sprint power or speed. In this zone, the load on the muscles is very fatigued and breathing is very hard, but you can not keep up with the demands of oxygen. In general, Zone 5 is not suitable for group exercise classes and mixed populations of exercisers due to the lack of knowledge about the participant's history. At this level of exercise, you are unable to breathe enough air to keep up, so you will quickly become breathless. This is very hard and not sustainable! The average person should not be able to hold this level of exercise for more than 30 seconds to 3 minutes for a trained athlete.