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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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General Heart Rate Monitor Usage - Polar

Self Walk Test by Polar and UKK Institute

Self Walk Test by Polar and UKK Institute is based on 2 km/1,24 miles brisk walk on a hard, even surface. The test especially measures cardiorespiratory fitness. The result of the test WalkIndex™ is based on age, body mass index, walking time and your heart rate at the end of the walk. It tells how fit you are compared to others your age and gender. WalkIndex corresponds to VO2max (ml/kg/min). The test has been designed for healthy persons between the ages of 20 and 65. It does not give dependable results for people outside this age range or for those who are highly fit. The Self Walk Test has been designed to be performed after a supervised test in order to get a reliable result. Anyone who participates in this test does so at his or her own risk. Check your suitability to be tested by answering the following questions:

1. Do you have a heart defect or suffer from heart disease?
2. Are your joints sore, inflamed or swollen?
3. Do you experience tightness, burning sensations or pressure in your chest when you walk?
4. Do you feel faint or dizzy when you walk?
5. Do you feel excessively tired?
6. Are you on medication?

If you answered 'no' to all of the above questions, you can perform the Self Walk Test safely. If you answered one or more questions with 'yes', consult your doctor before carrying out the test.

Carrying out the test

1. On the Time of day display, scroll up or down until WALKTEST is displayed. Press OK. The receiver guides you through the necessary settings unless you have done them earlier.

2. Press OK to start the 5 minute warm up. At the end of the warm up you will hear an alarm sound. In case you already warmed up, you can skip the warm up by pressing OK.

3. When START is displayed after the warm up, start the test by pressing OK. The heart rate appears on the display in few seconds.

4. Walk exactly 2 km/1,24 miles on a hard, even surface (road or track) as fast as you can and at an even pace. If your heart rate decreases under the lower limit, WALK FASTER appears and the receiver begins beeping. Increase the walking speed.

5. Press OK at the end of the test.

6. Your WalkIndex, its interpretation and the date are displayed. Fitness category compares your WalkIndex with respect to others in the same age group (20 – 65 years). The latest WalkIndex is automatically updated to the file after the test.

7. Press OK to return to the Time of day display.

8. Stretch out after the test.

If you do not want to have the sound signal on during the test, press and hold Signal/Light button.
disappears from the display. You can interrupt the test anytime during the test by pressing OK.

WalkIndex and Fitness Categories (VO2max, ml/kg/min)

Very poor - fair:
Increase exercise for health and fitness benefits.

Maintain current exercise habits to ensure better health. Exercise increase is recommended for fitness improvements.

Good - exellent:
Maintain current exercise habits for good health and fitness. WalkIndex and Fitness Categories (VO
2max, ml/kg/min)

The speed classifications above represent the following times to complete the 2km distance:

  • Slow stroll 25 mins
  • Normal/Brisk 25mins - 18 mins 45 secs
  • Fast 18 mins 45 secs - 15 mins
References: Shvartz E, Reibold RC:
Aerobic fitness norms for males and females aged 6 to 75 years: Aviat. Space Environ. Med. 61:3-11, 1990.
Guide for The UKK Institute 2-km Walking Test. UKK Institute 1993.
Laukkanen R. Development and evaluation of a 2-km walking test for assessing maximal aerobic power of adults in field conditions. Doctoral thesis. Kuopio University Publications D. Medical Sciences 23. Kuopio 1993.


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