Validity of the Polar V800 monitor for measuring heart rate variability in mountain running route conditions



This study was conducted to test, in mountain running route conditions, the accuracy of the Polar V800™ monitor as a suitable device for monitoring the heart rate variability (HRV) of runners.


Eighteen healthy subjects ran a route that included a range of running slopes such as those encountered in trail and ultra-trail races. The comparative study of a V800 and a Holter SEER 12 ECG Recorder™ included the analysis of RR time series and short-term HRV analysis. A correction algorithm was designed to obtain the corrected Polar RR intervals. Six 5-min segments related to different running slopes were considered for each subject.


The correlation between corrected V800 RR intervals and Holter RR intervals was very high (r = 0.99, p < 0.001), and the bias was less than 1 ms. The limits of agreement (LoA) obtained for SDNN and RMSSD were (− 0.25 to 0.32 ms) and (− 0.90 to 1.08 ms), respectively. The effect size (ES) obtained in the time domain HRV parameters was considered small (ES < 0.2). Frequency domain HRV parameters did not differ (p > 0.05) and were well correlated (r ≥ 0.96, p < 0.001).


Narrow limits of agreement, high correlations and small effect size suggest that the Polar V800 is a valid tool for the analysis of heart rate variability in athletes while running high endurance events such as marathon, trail, and ultra-trail races.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2





Effect size


Global positioning system


Power in the high-frequency band


Normalized HF power


Heart rate monitors


Heart rate variability


Power in the low-frequency band


Normalized LF power


Low-frequency-to-high-frequency ratio.


Limits of agreement


Normal-to-normal intervals


Proportion of differences between adjacent NN intervals of more than 50 ms

P :

Total power of the spectral density


Root mean square of differences of successive NN intervals


Standard deviation of all NN intervals


Error type 1 to 6b


Power in the very low-frequency band


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This work was supported in part within the framework of the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO) Grant TEC2014–60337–R, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 633196 (CATCH ME), and the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CIBER) of Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, an initiative of the Instituto de Salud“ Carlos III” (ISCIII).

Author information




Participated in research design: PC, PG, EG, LM, AP and NS. Conducted experiments: FS and NS. Performed data analysis: PC, PG, AP and FS. Wrote or contributed to the writing of the manuscript: PC, PG, EG, LM, AP, FS and NS.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Pere Caminal.

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Informed consent

A group of 22 consecutively recruited volunteers gave their written informed consent to participate in this study.

Ethical approval

The protocol was reviewed and approved by the Healthcare Ethics Committee of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona (2013/8255).

Conflict of interest

Pere Caminal, Fuensanta Sola, Pedro Gomis, Eduard Guasch, Alexandre Perera, Núria Soriano, and Lluis Mont declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by Jean-René Lacour.

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Caminal, P., Sola, F., Gomis, P. et al. Validity of the Polar V800 monitor for measuring heart rate variability in mountain running route conditions. Eur J Appl Physiol 118, 669–677 (2018).

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  • Validation
  • Polar V800 heart rate monitor
  • HRV
  • Open field running conditions