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Polar Fitness Test white paper

Fitness has an important role in sports and exercise training. Exercise training targets to maintain or improve fitness. Most of the training prescription parameters (frequency, duration, intensity) depend on the fitness level of a person. Therefore it is important to take fitness into account and monitor changes to it. Aerobic fitness is the core of all fitness. The Polar Fitness Test is a simple aerobic fitness prediction test, which is easy to do and interpret.The Polar Fitness Test predicts maximal aerobic power (maximal oxygen uptake, VO2max). Maximal oxygen uptake is a commonly accepted standard for aerobic fitness and it is equivalent to the amount of oxygen the body can use during maximal effort. The Polar Fitness Test involves taking measurements of heart rate and heart rate variability at rest and this personal information is used to carry out a prediction test. The test was developed in the 1990s using artificial neural networks, i.e. it has been developed using a large amount of maximal oxygen uptake laboratory measurements as a reference. The result of Polar Fitness test can be compared to the results of others of the same gender and age in an international fitness classification to see the potential for improvement. The Polar Fitness Test white paper describes in detail how this test was developed, how the measurement is calculated and it also reviews the validation study results for the Polar Fitness Test.

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