Listening to your body

Thirty seven years’ creating the most innovative heart-rate monitors in the world – four decades of technological firsts

Since 1977, Polar has catered for all levels of fitness with its cutting-edge heart-rate monitors and, more recently, activity monitors. Back then, the company was the sports fitness and wearable technology pioneer. The explosion in wearable tech in recent years has seen the marketplace filled with other brands offering similar products. But it is the expertise gathered over almost forty years which has enabled Polar to retain its place as a market leader.

Take Polar’s latest model, the V800, which is used across a number of sports by dozens of top athletes, including Ironman triathlon world champion Frederik Van Lierde. It was the first device for elite-level athletes that combined integrated GPS and 24/7 activity monitoring into one device to support a more holistic picture of an athlete’s regime, and to better help identify the ideal balance between training and rest and recovery.

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Activity tracking is the latest trend and Polar has created Loop, a new stylish activity and sleep-tracker bracelet worn on the wrist. It captures all the user’s daily activity 24/7 and syncs wirelessly to a mobile phone app via Bluetooth Smart, as well as a website with motivating feedback. It can be quite a surprise to get a notification from your Loop saying you need to move, after a period of inactivity sitting at your desk. Polar was the first to combine accurate heart-rate data with activity tracking, giving the user an unprecedented insight into their daily physical activity.

Polar is chosen by athletes, coaches, teams and governing bodies all around the world

Polar is chosen by athletes, coaches, teams and governing bodies all around the world. In the UK, the brand has a number of partnerships with leading sports organisations, including British Athletics and England Hockey. The brand’s heart-rate monitors and team systems are found extensively in professional football, and are used by the majority of English Premier League clubs, and by FIFA and UEFA referees to maximise their performance. Coaches can monitor and analyse the training of each player, while comparing individual performance against that of the group. These elite performers also help guide new product development. Their experiences and requirements help Polar’s scientists to develop new technology and features.

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This expertise at the very top level of world sport has a benefit for everyone. Polar is not just for the world’s best; its extensive range means anyone can benefit from exactly the same products and technology to exercise smarter. And the brand’s stylish designs mean customers enjoy wearing the watches in their everyday lives. Polar’s industry-leading technology isn’t just available to carry on your wrists or on your smartphone. Many of the machines used by gym members around the world have Polar technology inside, helping people better understand the efficiency of their training.

Polar has a leading role in corporate fitness. Employee and member wellness programmes abound, and the company offers corporate solutions for all sizes of business. Training data can be shared in return for rewards, discounts and bonus programmes, such as the PruHealth Vitality rewards programme.

Today, Polar employs 1,200 people worldwide, it manufactures all products in its fully owned factories, has 26 subsidiaries globally and manages a distribution network supplying over 35,000 retail outlets in more than 80 countries. With a focus on wearable technology like there has never been before, Polar will continue to embrace this exciting marketplace with its long heritage and excellence in sports science.