This study from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, examined the validity of the Polar Vantage V2 wrist-based photoplethysmography (PPG) method to measure HR and HRV at rest. Recreationally endurance-trained participants recorded pulse-to-pulse (PP) and RR intervals simultaneously with a PPG-based watch and reference heart rate sensor (Polar H10) at a laboratory in a supine position (5-min recording) and at home during sleep (4-h recording). In addition, analyses were performed from pooled laboratory data (n = 11344 PP and RR intervals).
A very good agreement was found between pooled PP and RR intervals with a mean bias of 0.17 ms and a correlation coefficient of 0.993 (p < 0.001). In the laboratory, HR did not differ between the devices (mean bias 0.0 bpm), but PPG slightly underestimated the nocturnal recordings (mean bias −0.7 bpm, p < 0.001). PPG overestimated LnRMSSD both in the laboratory (mean bias 0.20 ms, p < 0.001) and nocturnal recordings (mean bias 0.17 ms, p < 0.001). However, very strong intraclass correlations in the nocturnal recordings were found between the devices (HR: 0.998, p < 0.001; LnRMSSD: 0.931, p < 0.001).
In conclusion, PPG was able to measure HR and HRV with adequate accuracy in recreational athletes. However, when strict absolute values are of importance, systematic overestimation, which seemed to especially concern participants with low LnRMSSD, should be acknowledged.
Nuuttila, O.-P.; Korhonen, E.; Laukkanen, J.; Kyröläinen, H. Validity of the Wrist-Worn Polar Vantage V2 to Measure Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability at Rest. Sensors 2022, 22, 137. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22010137
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