The Polar Fitness Test and own index
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Ownindex is a score which is comparable to VO2max, a commonly used descriptor of aerobic fitness.  Own index is a result of the Polar fitness Test, which is an easy and quick way to estimate maximal aerobic power.   The ownindex is based on heart rate, heart rate variability at rest, body structure and self assessed physical activity.

Cardiovascular or aerobic fitness relates to how well your cardiovascular system works to transport oxygen to your body.  The better the cardiovascular fitness, the stronger and more efficient your heart is.

Having good cardiovascular fitness has many health benefits, it decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and high blood pressure.

Cardiovascular fitness is best improved by exercise types which use large muscle groups such as walking, running, swimming, rowing, skating, cross-country skiing and cycling.

Measure your ownindex a couple of times initially then each week on the same time and day (twice to get and average reading).  Make sure you are well rested, relaxed and not distracted by anything such as people, tv's or radio.  Avoid eating a heavy meal, drinking alcohol or coffee and any other kind of drug.  Record the info in your personal log book and watch your progress.

Interpreting the test results
In every fitness test, you need to know what the given result means to benefit from it. In Polar Fitness Test™ the person gets a score, Polar OwnIndex™, which is comparable to VO2max, a commonly used descriptor of aerobic fitness. Therefore the range for the Polar Fitness Index™ is the same as that for VO2max, from 25, which can be measured for unfit sedentary individual, to 95, which is the level reached by Olympic athletes, such as top cross-country skiers. Fitness tests are most useful when following individual progress by comparing new results to previous ones. 

National norms can be used to compare the test results to the average values of those with the same age and gender. For this comparison up-to-date results measured in a large sample of a representative population are needed. Below is one example of normal values presented as a mean and standard deviation values according to the age group (Fletcher et al. 1995).

Average Fittest Scores for M52
Age Range Fittest Score VO2 Max
ml/min/kg
Standard Deviation
20-29 Men 43 +/- 7
30-39 Men 42 +/- 7
40-49 Men 40 +/- 7
50-59 Men 36 +/- 7
60-69Men 33 +/- 7
20-29 Woman 36 +/- 7
30-39 Woman 34 +/- 6
40-49 Woman 32 +/- 6
50-59 Woman 29 +/- 5
60-69 Woman 27 +/- 5

 

I have already tested this out and have found a new motivation to train with.

Jamie Sarkisian
Sark Products