European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 12, pp 4179–4180 | Cite as

On the validity of using the Polar RS800 heart rate monitor for heart rate variability research

  • Daniel S. Quintana
  • James A. J. Heathers
  • Andrew H. KempEmail author
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

We read with interest the report of Wallén et al. (2012) concerning the validity of the Polar RS800 heart rate monitor (HRM) as compared to a 5-min supine electrocardiogram (ECG) with respect to the calculation of various indices of heart rate variability (HRV). The Polar system consists of an HRM with bundled software (Polar Pro Trainer 5; PPT) which is used to derive HRV values. Wallén et al. (2012) compare the results from hand-corrected ECG data to this system, and conclude that traditional ECGs should be preferred as “…the Polar system did not identify errors satisfactorily, or return valid values of HRV for certain groups…”.

It should be noted first that within a research context, inaccuracy of a bundled hardware/software system is somewhat moot. Research groups overwhelmingly utilize the Polar system as a source of RR intervals, which are exported from the PPT software, and corrected if necessary to a normal-to-normal approximation then analysed using separate...


Heart Rate Variability Polar System Heart Rate Monitor Ectopic Beat Cardiac Dysrhythmia 
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The authors, DSQ, JAH and AHK are supported by an Australian Rotary Health/Hooton family scholarship, an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and a NHMRC Career development fellowship (571101), respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel S. Quintana
    • 1
  • James A. J. Heathers
    • 1
  • Andrew H. Kemp
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Psychology, Brennan MacCallum Building (A18)The University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.CADE Clinic, Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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