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

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Method

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.

Results

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).

Conclusion

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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Abbreviations

ECG:

Electrocardiogram

ES:

Effect size

GPS:

Global positioning system

HF:

Power in the high-frequency band

HFn:

Normalized HF power

HRM:

Heart rate monitors

HRV:

Heart rate variability

LF:

Power in the low-frequency band

LFn:

Normalized LF power

LF/HF:

Low-frequency-to-high-frequency ratio.

LoA:

Limits of agreement

NN:

Normal-to-normal intervals

pNN50:

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

P :

Total power of the spectral density

RMSSD:

Root mean square of differences of successive NN intervals

SDNN:

Standard deviation of all NN intervals

T(1–6b):

Error type 1 to 6b

VLF:

Power in the very low-frequency band

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Funding

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).

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Authors

Contributions

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.

Ethics declarations

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). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-018-3808-0

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Keywords

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