Polar Physical Education Solutions
Heart rate monitors, fitness trackers and GPS sports watches
Polar heart rate monitors are known globally for their durability and accuracy. Our selection gives you options to meet your classroom needs, from traditional chest straps to optical armbands and wrist units.
Polar E-Unite is an ultra-light activity tracker that will help every student on their journey to better fitness.
Optical heart rate with new Precision Prime technology. This rechargeable watch features time spent in heart rate zones and integrated GPS with a full color touch screen display.
Polar Vantage M
Polar Vantage M is an all-in-one multisport watch with built-in GPS, optical heart rate from the wrist and advanced running and multisport features.
H10 heart rate sensor
Comfortable chest strap with revised design, improved heart rate accuracy including extra interference preventing electrodes and enhanced Bluetooth range. User replaceable battery with extended operating time.
Polar OH1 optical heart rate sensor
Accurate arm band sensor offers versatility and comfort. Whether your students are in PE class or working out on their own, this Bluetooth® Smart heart sensor accurately and consistently captures heart rate using Polar’s proprietary heart rate algorithm and 6-LED solution.
How to apply for a grant
There is a range of grant programs you may be able to apply for in order to fund Polar Physical Education Solutions.
Healthier students, happier schools
Polar Physical Education Solutions are used in more than 10,000 schools in the US.
Below is a collection of our Showcase Schools. Click on the school logo to learn more.
The Teacher’s Toolbox includes documents that you can download and use for free.
Heart Rate Monitoring
Paul is the department chair for Physical Education, Health, and Driver Education. He's been teaching for 36 years total, and has been teaching with Polar technology for the last 12 years. He's a member of National AAHPERD, Assistant Director PE4LIFE Naperville Academy, and also part of the Illinois High School Coaches Association. In addition to that he is a consultant for X2 Youth Fitness Centers and a part of the Organizing Committee for DuPage County PE Institute.
About Naperville Central High School:
Naperville is part of Naperville Community Unit School District in Naperville, Illinois. In this suburban area the typical P.E. class size is 36 students. Students are in grade levels 9-12. For the last 12 years at Naperville teachers have been using Polar heart rate monitors (HRMs) in class, and have also been using the TriFIT system for the last ten years. Naperville is also a PE4Life Academy.
Paul uses team sports, teambuilding, individual sports and fitness activities to teach physical education at his school
The 2005 PEP grant, 2004 Congresswoman Judy Biggart Community grant, and 2000 & 2001 Naperville Education Foundation grants provided the funding for Naperville Central High to use Polar technology. Paul incorporates Polar in his lesson plans at least once a week and sometimes more often than that. Naperville started using Polar when various school officials heard Beth Kirkpatrick speak. At first, Paul ordered 5 E200s and an XL to try teaching with heart rate. After the first year he knew he wanted to have a classroom set to be able to track each student individually. He was able to get parents and the community involved, and they raised enough money to buy another ten HRMs. The school PTA matched the money for another ten and successfully lobbied the Board of Education to match the ten as well. For Paul, the most important reasons to use Polar are, "helping students know the level of effort needed to be fit cardio wise, the longitudinal study of student fitness levels, and discovering problems at an early age stage to set up intervention."
Paul likes Polar's "ease of use, data collection capabilities, and student accountability."
Administration likes "data collection and student accountability."
Personal Highlight: Paul says, "Based on the TriFIT data, our students are far ahead of the norm for fitness levels when compared nation wide."
Niles North and Niles West High Schools
9800 Lawler Avenue, Skokie, IL
About the Teacher:
Paul Swanson is the Director of Physical Welfare at Niles North and Niles West High Schools. Affiliated with AAHPERD, IAHPERD, Illinois Track Coaches Association and ASCD, he brings his 22-years of teaching experience (15 of them using Polar) to the Niles Township High School District 219. He has also been honored as a Blue Ribbon Award Winner for IAHPERD.
About Niles North and Niles West:
Niles North and Niles West High Schools are located in Skokie, Illinois and are part of the Niles Township High School District 219. These suburban high schools, teaching grades 9-12, have an average class size of 40 students. High schools in this district have been utilizing Polar since the early 90s.
Using E600, E200 and E40 heart rate monitors, teachers incorporate Polar technology into their classes several times a week. In the 2011-2012 school year, Niles North and Niles West are starting a program where every incoming freshman in the class of 2015 will wear a heart rate monitor every day. Teachers utilize the data collection and immediate feedback to fodder conversations with students and parents about fitness levels. As students are seeing their efforts in real time, Niles North and Niles West PE teachers have seen their students put in greater efforts in annual fitness testing, and they seem to show a greater understanding of the importance of health related fitness concepts.
The Niles Township High School District 219 has created two state-of-the-art cardio laboratories in both high school buildings. Each facility has 44 pieces of cardio equipment and audiovisual equipment, and heart rate technology is used as often as possible.
The Administration: "The administration likes the data produced the most. They demand that our classes have a fitness component in them regardless of the activity. The watches allow us to produce data that supports our claims that fitness occurs not only in our cardio labs but in other sports and activities as well."
The Students: "Educationally our students are informed about heart rate, target heart rate maximum heart rate and an appropriate target heart rate zone. It also reinforces concepts for FITT for our students in a very visual and tangible manner." We have also utilized the technology to implement a Learning Readiness program for students struggling in reading. Based on the John Ratey research highlighted in the book "Spark," we have placed high energy PE class right before the students reading class. We have seen small sample results that indicate a correlation between exercise and learning.
Illinois State University
100 North University Street Normal, IL 61761
Dale D. Brown
Dale is a Professor of Exercise Physiology at Illinois State University. In Dales' 24 years of teaching, he has taught 10 years using Polar. He is affiliated with various memberships such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association and American College of Sports Medicine. Throughout his career he has received awards such as the Outstanding Teaching Award at Illinois State University and the Central Illinois American Heart Association Heart Saver and Hero Award.
About Illinois State University:
The School of Kinesiology and Recreation is located in the university right outside of Normal, Illinois. Illinois State University offers many undergraduate and graduate PE programs. The School of Kinesiology and Recreation provides various programs to enable students to choose from a diverse range of careers. These academic options include: athletic training, exercise science, physical education teacher education, recreation management, and therapeutic recreation.
The University started using Polar technology in conjunction with grant programs accompanying collaboration in area schools. As the university worked to enhance physical education programs (K-12), Polar technology/products became incorporated into primary, secondary and university classes as well as in our Exercise Physiology laboratory. As a result, Polar technology has become integrated into teaching, research and service programs at Illinois State University.
Polar has made an impact on Illinois State University. They have been using various types of Polar systems. These systems including the Polar TriFIT 600 and 700 system, Heart Rate monitors E200's, E600's, FT60's, Team 2 Heart Rate Monitoring System, and handheld PDA devices.
This technology has enhanced the curriculum at the University by allowing students to experience the application of concepts taught in classes. Through the measurement, recording and summary of their personal data, students better connect concepts to everyday life. Students not only realize ways to better their own wellbeing but also learn how the technology can be utilized in the real world as they progress into professional settings. The summary reports that Polar TriFIT creates allows for the students who have no Exercise Physiology background to understand why the five components of fitness are important, where they currently rank among population specific norms and standards, and it also gives students an idea of WHY it is important to either maintain or improve these numbers. The reliability, versatility and the applicability of the Polar technology makes the equipment very attractive and useful.
Millis Middle/High School
Millis-Clicquot, Millis, MA
Physical Education teacher
I like how Polar technology allows me to differentiate instruction and personalize the class for each student. I like how it levels the playing field for all students and allows each student to exercise based on their needs. One powerful advantage of using the technology is that it motivates my students, holds them accountable, and provides the platform for students to take personal responsibility for their performance. It also allows me to objectively assess each student based on their personal needs and fitness level, making grading easier and transparent for the students and parents. Polar technology provides me with formative and summative feedback for students and gives them concrete data on their progress and achievement. Lastly, Polar technology also provides me (and the students) a way to analyze their performance and a research based, data driven source of communication to students, parents, and administrators.
Scott Kendrick is a Physical Education teacher at Millis Middle/High School in the state of Massachusetts. He has a Master’s Degree from Bridgewater State University, and has been teaching for the past 19 years. Scott has been using Polar technology for the last 15 years, and currently is Polar’s Showcase Teacher for the state of Massachusetts. He has had the honor to present for Apple at their annual Apple Tech Update and has worked internationally as a technology integration consultant for Ed Tech Teacher as part of St. Maarten’s iStep initiative. Scott has also been featured in Commonwealth Magazine with Dr. John Ratey, in the article "Sparking the Brain,” the Metrowest Community Health Care Foundation’s report on childhood obesity, the Boston Globe’s "It’s Weight on Their Minds,” and in the Milford Daily News article “Millis Students Putting Their Hearts Into it.”
East Evergreen Elementary School
Physical Education teacher
Before I ordered the Polar watches I had piloted another brand of heart monitors. I purchased four and tried them out to see if they would work for me. I am finding out that Polar is far better. I am finding that the monitors, software, app, functionality, professional development, and support of Polar is far superior. I am very excited about seeing my students' achievement over time! Student watches are working very well in my class and the students are setting goals, working extremely hard, making growth, and loving the personalized data. I am learning so much!
Glenbard North High School
Department Chair: Physical Education, Health, and Driver Education
Why did you choose Polar over other heart companies?
I have always had great tech support and customer service with Polar. Using technology can be a challenge and knowing there is someone you can call to solve makes it easier and less stressful to incorporate it into our PE program
What do you like most about teaching students using Polar Technology?
At my school we stopped grading on heart rate when using heart monitors and it really helped to change students' attitudes and opinions about them. Instead we use them to teach students about their heart and the circulatory system and how best to train it. I also use them to do alternative cardiovascular assessments for our adapted PE students based on the Brockport Physical Fitness Test (BPFD). Cardiovascular assessments don't have to be maximal efforts. This is the future of cardiovascular assessment in school. Maximal or sub maximal testing of students is dangerous and is not reliable data. I am loving the new fitness assessment addition to Polar’s watches. In 5 minutes, it estimates a vo2 max without students breaking a sweat. I can now see student growth that I know is authentic, because student effort plays no part in the test.
What does your administration like the most?
Using Polar heart rate monitors gives some objective data in an otherwise largely subjective teaching area. They are great to use when teachers are being evaluated.
How do your students like using Polar technology during classes?
Our feeder schools all used Polar heart rate monitors. When I would pull them out for the first-time in a new school year with freshman, they had a less than enthusiastic response to using them. I ended up having some very good conversations in class about how and why we should use them. Once we took out the daily grading of heart rate, student attitudes changed. Students used them as a tool instead of a teacher student effort tracker and everyone stopped stressing when the technology did not work correctly.
How often do you incorporate Polar heart rate monitors into your lesson plans?
We use them once a week (before covid) in all our PE classes. I have 4 classes running each period all day so we share them. We recently purchased the polar Unite watches for our zero hour curriculum during COVID. They were not assigned a time period to meet so they are completely virtual. Because of the success of this class and the use of the Unite watches we will offer an online remote Physical Education class as an option for students next year. I would not have supported online class as an option without the polar heart rate technology. I am excited to teach this class next year and I am really impressed with the new changes Polar has made to help schools teach in a COVID change educational environment.
What is the most important reason to use Polar in physical education?
I use them to help teach lifelong fitness. The reality is that most people already have a heart rate monitor on their wrist but they don't know how to use it to improve their own fitness. We attempt to teach that.
What visible improvements have you seen in your students in your experience using Polar products?
The new Polar Unite watches we purchased will be a huge new addition to our PE program. Polar has made online PE possible with the development of new hardware and software technology.