At the moment I use a polar h7 combined with an iphone app called sweetwater in order to track my HRV. However this set-up isn’t very convenient.
As I want to monitor my HRV all day long while I’m at the office I was thinking about buying a barebone PC running windows 7/8 or Linux with a dedicated screen helping me to always have a look at what’s going on.
The issue I’m running into at the moment is the lack of software for the windows platform which could allow me to track my hrv using a polar h7.
I’ve tried to search online for solutions but I couldn’t find a simple or affordable way to do.
Here is what I found so far:
sweatwaterhrv.com (I use it with my mobile but I can’t find an equivalent for desktops)
why was the Polar H7 + Sweetwater HRV setup not convenient for you?
I was looking into 24 hour HRV recording for the exact same reasons as you did and was also thinking about getting the Sweetwater app and a bluetooth heartrate belt for my Iphone.
We have an app called myFitnessCompanion that uses the Zephyr Bioharness 3 and monitors your HRV (and heartrate, body temp and respiration) for a prolonged time (is a premium feature for which you have to pay). We have customers that use it mainly for exercises but you can ofcourse use it to measure your stress level as well. Maybe of interest to you?
I have tried numerous HRVs but I have always found my way back to BioCom’s HRV. From my prsonal experience, Biocom’s HRV is top of the class, highly accurate and very easy to use. I’d personally recommend you to check it out.
My recommendation is you break down the collection problems and match them to the thing you are trying to study. Currently there is no app or software that puts it all together.
The fundamental technical problem you have to solve is capturing your RR intervals (time distance between beats) over the prolonged period. Once you have those you can use excel, Kubios or a number of other programs to look at those intervals in an interpreted way. All HRV “features” are derivations of the stream of numbers that are your RR intervals. Apps like Sweetwater are giving you their interpretive view of those intervals.
If you are examining stress you will also have to capture what is happening with you during this prolonged period so you can match the HRV indication with what you are thinking or what is happening. Otherwise you’ll get an analysis that says “I had a stress event at 3.30pm” but you’ll not know whether you were worried about something or you got up to go to the toilet.
Polar H7 to PC seems less efficient than Polar H7 to smart phone. The reason is simply that you sometimes do have to move away from your desk and breaking it into multiple readings might not be what you want. For example, i measure my HRV at work when at my desk, and in meetings. I carry an iPod 5 connected to an H7 and it works fine. When I am at my desk i plug it in to keep the charge. Using this method I measure my RR interval for multiple long periods. I have over 400 sessions of RR data to play with.
I like Marco Altini’s app because he has made it dead simple to export RR intervals to csv (ie one button click to dropbox) with which I can play with them to my hearts content. The screen view is OK during reading though the way it is organized scrunches the graphs up so going beyond 10 minutes makes them difficult to read. I also like Sweetwater because the “geek screen” allows for looking at some features in real time as I am taking the measurements. The export is a little more cumbersome.
I record sessions with an audio recorder so I can remember what my state of mind was a the moment something happened. This is manual and cumbersome, but oftentimes the memory of what was happening at 3.30pm is far different from when you listed to a recording and you realize something entirely different was happening.
Hope that helps. Good luck with your readings and your examinations!
Different manufacturing brands have differnt HRV analysis setups. In my experience, the simplest setup process comes with BioCom’s HRV analysis software. It is easy to setup and even easier to use in day-to-day period.
for anyone serious about this I would really go with firstbeat as only non-gadget option that does 24/7 monitoring accurately today, with some interesting analysis of stress and recovery. However, the device is not really consumer friendly (in terms of both cost and usability, with gel electrodes at all).
Stress can be measured by using, for instance Bayevskys stress index. Also, a lowered HRV could mean increased stress, or low parasympathetic activation. Usually if you exercise your stress levels will increase(lower HRV since the body needs to use resources for recovery, especially noticeable if you are having extreme workouts in highest possible HR levels. Its quite possible to use CardioMood or HRV expert on phone to measure full 24/7. just extend time limit. Cardiomood also does som extra calculations for you so its a little easier to interpret some of the data, unfortunately they dont provide insights on how to read some of these domains and measures. There is a free app in development for research purposes which we have used in College, so I will ask for the name.