Other Subject Area

Wearable Technology


International Journal of Exercise Science 16(7): 1440-1450, 2023. Purpose: This study sought to assess the validity of several heart rate (HR) monitors in wearable technology during mountain biking (MTB), compared to the Polar H7® HR monitor, used as the criterion device. Methods: A total of 20 participants completed two MTB trials while wearing six HR monitors (5 test devices, 1 criterion). HR was recorded on a second-by-second basis for all devices analyzed. After data processing, validity measures were calculated, including 1. error analysis: mean absolute percentage errors (MAPE), mean absolute error (MAE), and mean error (ME), and 2. Correlation analysis: Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) and Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r). Thresholds for validity were set at MAPE < 10% and CCC > 0.7. Results: The only device that was found to be valid during mountain biking was the Suunto Spartan Sport watch with accompanying HR monitor, with a MAPE of 0.66% and a CCC of 0.99 for the overall, combined data. Conclusion: If a person would like to track their HR during mountain biking, for pacing, training, or other reasons, the devices best able to produce valid results are chest-based, wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors, secured by elastic straps to minimize the movement of the device, such as the Suunto chest-based HR monitor.