Field based reliability and validity of the Bioharness (TM) multivariable monitoring device

James A. Johnstone, Paul A. Ford, Gerwyn Hughes, Tim Watson, Andrew C. S. Mitchell, Andrew T. Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The Bioharness (TM) device is designed for monitoring physiological variables in free-living situations but has only been proven to be reliable and valid in a laboratory environment. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the reliability and validity of the Bioharness (TM) using a field based protocol. Twenty healthy males participated. Heart rate (HR), breathing frequency (BF) and accelerometry (ACC) were assessed by simultaneous measurement of two Bioharness (TM) devices and a test-retest of a discontinuous incremental walk-jog-run protocol (4 -11 km.h(-1)) completed in a sports hall. Adopted precision of measurement devices were; HR: Polar T31 (Polar Electro), BF: Spirometer (Cortex Metalyser), ACC: Oxygen expenditure (Cortex Metalyser). For all data, precision of measurement reported good relationships (r = 0.61 to 0.67, p <0.01) and large Limits of Agreement for HR (>79.2 b.min(-1)) and BF (>54.7 br.min(-1)). ACC presented excellent precision (r = 0.94, p <0.01). Results for HR (r = similar to 0.91, p <0.01: CV <7.6) and ACC (r > 0.97, p <0.01; CV 8 km.h(-1)) data became more erroneous. A data cleaning protocol removed gross errors in the data analysis and subsequent reliability and validity statistics improved across all variables. In conclusion, the Bioharness (TM) HR and ACC variables have demonstrated reliability and validity in a field setting, though data collected at higher velocities should be treated with caution. Measuring human physiological responses in a field based environment allows for more ecologically valid data to be collected and devices such as the Bioharness (TM) could be used by exercise professionals to begin to further investigate this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Multi-variable
  • physiological monitoring
  • ecological validity
  • new technology


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