Students express concerns regarding required polar devices

Alexis Dewey checks her polar watch.
Sunday, October 2, 2022 (Photo by: Preston Waters)
Alexis Dewey checks her polar watch. Sunday, October 2, 2022 (Photo by: Preston Waters)

Students at Southern Adventist University are required to take fitness classes, including Fitness for Collegiate Life. The class is usually taken by freshmen, and all students are required to purchase a Polar device for that class. 

Polar devices come in different forms and price ranges. These devices are used to check the heart rate of the wearer and simultaneously upload that information to the Polar App. The Polar website lists the prices for these devices. There are chest straps with the lowest price being $59. There are watches that range from $150 to $200. 

Students have expressed concerns regarding the requirement to purchase these devices and their prices. 

Naomi Linder, a sophomore public relations major, had a few things to say regarding the Polar devices.

“The Polar system is just so expensive, and they malfunction so easily,” she said. It’s really frustrating, and to me it just feels like a waste of money.”   

Although students have expressed concern about the devices, the School of Health and Kinesiology have reasons for its use of the Polar system.

Leslie Evenson, a professor and the director of the Wellness Institute, had some answers regarding the polar devices in an interview with the Accent. 

“Polar has always been one of the frontrunners in the arena of heart rate monitors. They have been doing it longer than most other companies,” said Evenson. “Polar has a variety of models at different price points, and they continue to have models slightly less expensive than the other brands.”

Evenson also said students have the advantage of using their Polar devices in all the different fitness courses that students might be required or want to take.

“Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Southern will use the Polar device in at least two activity courses, if not more, over their time attending Southern”, she said.

While Southern’s activity classes may allow students to frequently use the devices, extra curricular activities offered at Southern don’t always allow students to use them.

During some intramural sports, such as flag football and basketball, students aren’t allowed to wear the Polar watches and arm bands while they are participating for safety reasons, according to Intramural Director Troy Walker.

Camden Armstrong, a senior sports management major, said a few things regarding the use of polar devices in extracurricular activities. 

 “Since students aren’t allowed to wear the watches or arm bands, it makes it hard for them to use the devices to their fullest extent,” said Armstrong. “There are bands to cover up the devices, but not many students know about it.” 

The bands can be purchased at the Hulsey Wellness Center front desk and allow students to wear the devices when they are participating in intramural sports.  

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