Water resistance of Polar products

Most Polar products can be worn when swimming. They are not, however, diving instruments. To maintain water resistance, do not press the buttons of the product under water. When measuring heart rate in water with a Polar heart rate sensor attached around your chest, you may experience interference for the following reasons:

  • Pool water with high chlorine content, and seawater are very conductive. The electrodes of the heart rate sensor may short-circuit, preventing ECG signals from being detected by the heart rate sensor.
  • Jumping into water or strenuous muscle movement during competitive swimming may shift the heart rate sensor to a location on the body where ECG signals cannot be picked up.
  • The ECG signal strength is individual and may vary depending on the individual’s tissue composition. Problems occur more frequently when measuring heart rate in water.

Polar devices with wrist-based heart rate measurement (A360, M200 and M600) are suitable for swimming and bathing. They will collect your activity data from your wrist movements also when swimming. In our tests, however, we found that the wrist-based heart rate measurement doesn’t work optimally in water, so we cannot recommend wrist-based heart rate measurement for swimming.

In the watch industry water resistance is generally indicated as meters of water pressure, which means the static water pressure of that depth. Polar uses this same indication system. Water resistance of Polar products is tested according to International Standard ISO 22810 or IEC60529. Every Polar device that has water resistance indication is tested before the delivery to stand water pressure.

Polar products are divided into four different categories according to their water resistance. Check the back of your Polar product for the water resistance category, and compare it to the chart below. Please note that these definitions do not necessarily apply to products of other manufacturers.

When performing any underwater activity, the dynamic pressure generated by moving in water is greater than the static pressure. This means that moving the product under water subjects it to a greater pressure than if the product were stationary.

Marking on the back of the product Wash splashes,
sweat, raindrops etc.
Bathing and swimming Skin diving with snorkel
(no air tanks)
SCUBA diving
(with air tanks)
Water resistant characteristics
Water resistant IPX7 OK - - - Do not wash with a pressure washer.
Protected against splashes, raindrops etc.
Reference standard: IEC60529.
Water resistant IPX8 OK OK - - Minimum for bathing and swimming.
Reference standard: IEC60529.
Water resistant
Water resistant 20/30/50 meters
Suitable for swimming
OK OK - - Minimum for bathing and swimming.
Reference standard: ISO22810.
Water resistant 100 meters OK OK OK - For frequent use in water but not SCUBA diving.
Reference standard: ISO22810.

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