Polar OwnZone FeaturePolar OwnZone® determines personal heart rate limits for an
The Polar OwnZone (OZ) feature determines an
individual exercise zone. It guides you through an appropriate warm-up routine
and automatically determines a safe and effective exercise heart rate zone -
your OwnZone - while taking into account your current physical condition.
Polar Heart Rate Monitors use multiple methods for determining your
OwnZone. The primary method is to measure your heart rate variability during
the warm-up period before exercising. If the measurement is not successful,
your latest saved OwnZone limits are used. If there are no previous limits in
the memory, the Polar Heart Rate Monitor will automatically calculate OwnZone
limits based on your age-predicted maximum heart rate (220 minus age). You
should determine your OwnZone at the beginning of your workout whenever you
change exercise environment and/or exercise mode or if your mental state
changes when feeling stressed, for instance.
The OwnZone Basic
corresponds to 65-85 % of the maximum heart rate. Exercise at the lower end of
this intensity level can be conducted for extended periods safely and often
yields the best results for weight control, while exercise at the upper end of
this intensity produces the best results for improving cardiovascular (aerobic)
The OwnZone Advanced feature consists of two training areas:
OwnZone Low and OwnZone High, providing greater variations in exercising than
the OwnZone Basic area, which can be rather wide for more focused training.
The OwnZone Light corresponds to 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.
This intensity still feels fairly easy for most people. It helps in weight
control and improves endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
Moderate corresponds to 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. This intensity is
especially good for people who are exercising regularly. Exercising in this
zone is particularly effective for improving cardiovascular fitness.
The OwnZone Hard corresponds to 80-90% of maximum heart rate. You will find
yourself breathing heavily, having tired muscles and feeling fatigued. This
intensity is recommended occasionally for fit people.
Weight corresponds to about 60-75% of your maximum heart rate. The OwnZone
Weight is ideal for weight loss exercise for less fit individuals and for those
recovering from sickness or intensive training.
Safe and effective exercise intensity
For developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory
fitness an exercise intensity of 55/65-90% HRmax has been
recommended for healthy adults in the latest Position Stand of American College
of Sports Medicine (ACSM 1998). The lower intensity values of the range are
most applicable to individuals who are fairly unfit and higher exercise
intensities are safe for more fit people. The recommended exercise duration
corresponds to 20 min-1 hour repeated 3-5 times a week. The duration is
dependent on the intensity; thus, low-intensity activity should be conducted
over a longer period of time (30 min or more), and, conversely, individuals
training at higher levels of intensity should train for at least 20 min or
Polar OwnZone function automatically calculates the effective
and safe intensity level for exercise. The determination is based on heart rate
variability (HRV), and in the calculation either a HRV based method (OZ.V) or
an age based method (OZ.A) is used.
HRV based method
The HRV based method calculates an individual
training heart rate zone during graded exercise. Polar heart rate monitor with
OwnZone feature guides the user with graphical bars on the display to start the
exercise with slow walk and increase the speed to normal walk, fast walk, slow
jogging and fast jogging. During OwnZone determination heart rate should be
kept below 100 bpm and increased about 10 bpm at each of the following stage.
OwnZone appears typically on the 3rd or 4th stage (in 5-6 minutes). This is
done during a 2-10 minute warm-up routine recommended before any exercise
session. The determination is based on a plateau of the heart rate variability
decrease, which is a direct consequence of the increase in heart rate with
exercise. This plateau is defined of the short term variable (Poincaré
plot, SD1) of the heart rate variability and shown as lower and upper heart
rate limits on the display.
OwnZone basic (OZ basic) consists of one
heart rate zone. The lower limit of the zone is based on the plateau of the
heart rate variability decrease and corresponds to approximately 65% of the
maximum heart rate. The upper limit of the zone is calculated by adding a fixed
number of beats (30) to the lower limit, so that the upper limit of the zone
corresponds to about 82% of the maximum heart rate. In cases where the heart
rate variability during OwnZone determination does not decrease low enough or
is too low to start with, the target heart rates are corrected by the % heart
rate values calculated from the age predicted (220-age) maximum heart rate. The
lower limit is not more than 80% HRmax and the upper limit is not
more than 85% HRmax.
OwnZone advanced consists of two target
heart rate zones; low (OZ Lo) and high (OZ Hi). The lower limit of the "low
zone" is based on the plateau of the heart rate variability decrease and
corresponds to approximately 65% of the maximum heart rate. The upper limit of
the "high zone" is calculated by adding a fixed number of beats (40) to the
lower limit of "low zone". "Low zone" and "high zone" are calculated by
dividing this 40 beats into two equal zones, 20 beats each. "Low zone"
corresponds to 65-78% of the maximum heart rate and "hard zone" to 78-87% of
the maximum heart rate. In cases where the heart rate variability during
exercise does not decrease low enough or is too low to start with, the target
heart rates are corrected by the % heart rate values calculated from the age
predicted (220-age) maximum heart rate. The lower limit of the "low zone" is
not more than 80% HRmax, and the upper limit of the "high zone" not
more than 95% HRmax.
Age based method
The age based method is used in the following
cases provided that there has not been previous successful HRV based
determination (OZ.L): too fast increase in the exercise intensity during
warm-up, muscle artifacts or other disturbances, or abnormal autonomic nervous
system response make it impossible to determine the plateau of the heart rate
The age based method uses the age predicted
maximum heart rate formula (220-age). In the OwnZone basic the 65-85%
HRmax target heart rate zone is calculated. In the OwnZone
advanced for the "low zone" the 65-78% HRmax and for the "high
zone" the 78-90% HRmax target heart rate zone is calculated. The
heart rate monitor shows this on the display (OZ.A).
The OwnZone feature offers a safe light to
moderate intensity exercise zone determination individually. A laboratory
measured maximum heart rate gives the most reliable basis for the target zone
determination, but the HRV based OwnZone is more sensitive than the laboratory
tests, because the user can repeat the determination as often as he/she wishes.
This is needed, because maximum and submaximum heart rate responses change
within individuals even daily. Heart rate is individual due to age, fitness
level and gender. In addition, factors like the intensity and mode of exercise,
environmental temperature, body position, state of mood and eating and drinking
habits affect the heart rate response.
Using OwnZone feature
The OwnZone procedure can be repeated
conveniently even in the beginning of every exercise session. It should be
performed always when changing exercise environment and/or exercise mode or
having abnormal feelings of physiological state at the start of the exercise.
The heart rate monitor saves the latest OwnZone limits. Because the OwnZone
basic area is rather wide (e.g. in a 20-year-old person, OZ.A at maximum 40
beats), the exercise intensity can be targeted either close to the lower or to
the upper limit of the OwnZone basic. The "low" and "high" zones of the
OwnZone advanced help the user to better meet the exercise intensity
needed. The lower limit of the OwnZone basic and the "low zone" of the
OwnZone advanced correspond to light, and at most to moderate exercise
intensity. Exercise at this intensity can be conducted for extensive periods of
time and often; daily and even several times a day. The exercise is targeted to
health and weight loss-related exercise for sedentary and less fit individuals,
for those rehabilitating from a disease or for athletes recovering from more
intensive training. The upper limit of the OwnZone basic and the "high
zone" of the OwnZone advanced correspond to moderate, and at most to hard
exercise intensity, which typically targets to fitness benefits.
ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine).
Position Stand: The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing
and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in
healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 30(6), 975-991, 1998.