Examining the Accuracy of the Polar A360 Monitor
The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of the Polar A360 heart rate (HR) monitor during periods of rest, walking/running, and active/passive recovery from exercise. Thirty collegiate athletes (women n = 15 and men n = 15) wore an A360 monitor and a previously validated chest HR monitor (Polar RS400) that served as the criterion measurement across a range of resting and walking/running intensities. First, subjects rested in a supine, seated, and standing position. Next, each subject walked on a treadmill at 1.6 kilometers per hour (kph). Speed was increased by 1.6 kph every 2 minutes until volitional fatigue. Then, subjects walked at 4.8 kph followed by a seated recovery stage. Heart rate was recorded in 30-second increments. Total mean difference in HR readings, percent accuracy, and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis established the level of agreement between devices. Bland-Altman plots and a regression were used to examine the agreement between devices. The A360 demonstrated a strong correlation with the RS400 (r2 = 0.98) across time points. The analysis of variance with repeated measures indicated an overall significant difference (p < 0.001) between devices. The A360 significantly underestimated HR during the 6.4-kph speed only (p < 0.05) (effect size 0.26). The greatest percent accuracy occurred during rest (91%) and recovery (90%). An ICC of 0.98 (SEM: 0.35) demonstrates a strong level of agreement between devices. The A360 is accurate at rest and during various walking and running speeds and thus is a device that can be used with confidence by athletes for specific training purposes. Future research should examine accuracy during weight training and other sport-specific activities.
Rider, Brian C.; Conger, Scott A.; Ditzenberger, Grace L.; Besteman, Summer S.; Bouret, Claire M.; and Coughlin, Adam M.. (2021). "Examining the Accuracy of the Polar A360 Monitor". The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 35(8), 2165-2169. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003136