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Field based reliability and validity of the Bioharness multivariable monitoring device

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


James A. Johnstone

Paul A. Ford

Gerwyn Hughes

Tim Watson

Andrew C.S. Mitchell

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Dr Andrew Garrett
Senior Lecturer in Exercise and Environmental Physiology


The Bioharness™ 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™ 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™ 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= ~0.91, p < 0.01: CV <7.6) and ACC (r > 0.97, p < 0.01; CV <14.7) suggested these variables are reliable. BF presented more variable data (r = 0.46-0.61, p < 0.01; CV < 23.7). As velocity of movement increased (>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™ 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™ could be used by exercise professionals to begin to further investigate this area.


Johnstone, J. A., Ford, P. A., Hughes, G., Watson, T., Mitchell, A. C., & Garrett, A. T. (2012). Field based reliability and validity of the Bioharness multivariable monitoring device. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 11(4), 643 - 652

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 29, 2012
Online Publication Date Dec 1, 2012
Publication Date Dec 1, 2012
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 18, 2022
Journal Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Print ISSN 1303-2968
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 4
Pages 643 - 652
Keywords Multi-variable; Physiological monitoring; Ecological validity; New technology
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