Heart rate sensors are commonly used by fitness enthusiasts, sportspeople, and health professionals to monitor their physical activity and track their heart rate. Polar heart rate sensors are some of the most popular heart rate sensors in the market. They measure the electrical signals from the chest, which is where the signals are strongest. However, sometimes, the readings can be abnormal, and the accuracy of the readings can be affected by various factors. In this article, we will explore the common causes of abnormal heart rate readings and the ways to improve them.
Ensuring Good Contact between the Skin and Electrodes
The accuracy of heart rate readings depends on the contact between the skin and the electrodes. If the contact is poor, the electrical signals can get disturbed, and the readings can be inaccurate. Here are some tips to ensure good contact:
Moisten the electrode areas: Before starting your exercise, moisten the electrode areas of the heart rate sensor with saliva, tap water, or a conductive gel.
Tighten the elastic strap: Make sure that the elastic strap is tightened to avoid the movement of the electrodes, which can disturb the electrical signals.
Try different sensor positions: If the signal is weak in one position, try moving the sensor to different positions to find the best signal for you.
Use conductive electrode lotion or gel: In challenging cases, you can use a conductive electrode lotion or gel to improve the contact between the skin and the electrodes.
Shave a small area: If you cannot find a good signal, shaving a small area on your chest may help.
Wearing and Tearing of the Heart Rate Sensor
To ensure that the heart rate readings are accurate, it is important to keep the heart rate sensor clean. After every use, wash the sensor and take care of it to ensure its longer life.
Avoiding Electromagnetic Disturbances
Electromagnetic disturbances can cause erratic readings in heart rate sensors. To avoid such disturbances, move away from possible sources of disturbance, such as high-voltage power lines, electric railways, televisions, cell phones, and more.
Static Electricity, Technical Sportswear, and Special Conditions
Static electricity can cause additional signals, especially in low air humidity or windy conditions. To avoid static electricity, moisten the electrodes, use a cotton shirt instead of a synthetic shirt, use a tighter shirt, use the heart rate sensor on a wet shirt, or place the sensor slightly to the left.
Battery of the Heart Rate Sensor
If the battery of the heart rate sensor is running low, the transmission range decreases, and the readings may become inaccurate. Make sure to replace the battery as soon as it runs low.
Heart rate sensors are a valuable tool to monitor your physical activity and track your heart rate. Polar heart rate sensors are some of the most popular heart rate sensors in the market. However, sometimes, the readings can be abnormal, and the accuracy of the readings can be affected by various factors, such as poor contact between the skin and electrodes, electromagnetic disturbances, static electricity, and more. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can improve the accuracy of your heart rate readings and avoid abnormal heart rating readings.