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Polar Fitness Test with OH1

The Polar Fitness Test with optical heart rate is an easy, safe and quick way to estimate your aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness at rest. The result, Polar OwnIndex, is comparable to maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), which is commonly used to evaluate aerobic fitness. Your long-term training background, heart rate, heart rate variability at rest, gender, age, height, and body weight all influence OwnIndex. The Polar Fitness Test is developed for use by healthy adults.

Aerobic fitness relates to how well your cardiovascular system works to transport oxygen to your body. The better your aerobic fitness, the stronger and more efficient your heart is. Good aerobic fitness has many health benefits. For example, it helps in decreasing the risk of high blood pressure and your risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. If you want to improve your aerobic fitness it takes, on average, six weeks of regular training to see a noticeable change in your OwnIndex. Less fit individuals see progress even more rapidly. The better your aerobic fitness, the smaller the improvements in your OwnIndex.

Aerobic fitness is best improved by training types that use large muscle groups. Such activities include running, cycling, walking, rowing, swimming, skating, and cross-country skiing. To monitor your progress, start by measuring your OwnIndex a couple of times during the first two weeks in order to get a baseline value, and then repeat the test approximately once a month.

To make sure the test results are reliable, the following basic requirements apply:

  • You can perform the test anywhere - at home, at the office, at a health club - provided the testing environment is peaceful. There should be no disturbing noises (e.g. television, radio, or telephone) and no other people talking to you.
  • Always take the test in the same environment and at the same hour.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal or smoking 2-3 hours prior to testing.
  • Avoid heavy physical exertion, alcohol, and pharmaceutical stimulants on the test day and the previous day.
  • You should be relaxed and calm. Lie down and relax for 1-3 minutes before starting the test.

Before and during the test

Wear your OH1 snugly on your forearm or upper arm. The optical heart rate sensor on the OH1 sensor must be in constant touch with your skin, but the armband should not be too tight to prevent blood flow.

Stay relaxed and limit body movements and communication with other people. It is important to stay as still as possible during the test, as even small movements can interfere with the test and cause it to fail.

The Polar Fitness test can be performed with OH1 with the following Polar devices/apps:

  • Polar Beat app
  • Polar V800
  • Polar M460

See the user manual of your Polar product for instructions on performing the Fitness test.

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