Getting activity data from my Polar Loop?
Written: 04-12-2015

I currently use a couple devices to track daily activity, one of them is the Polar Loop. I have been searching for a way to extract my activity data so that I can do some analysis of my own, however I have not found a way to easily do this.

Here is what I would like:

  1. step data
  2. calorie expenditure data

The other data associated with activity tracking would be nice, but not necessary. I also don’t need training data at this time.

I had thought that a potential solution would be connecting Apple’s HealthKit, then extracting the activity data from the HealthKit – however that connection doesn’t seem to be very reliable. I’m pretty confident I don’t average 68,268 steps per day. It also doesn’t go back historically as far as I’d like. The other option might be to use the Polar AccessLink api, however I haven’t tried to attempt that option at this point.

The only other option that I see is going to the web interface and manually getting the data for each day. The idea of going back to November 2013 and manually pulling the information doesn’t seem like a wonderful option, especially as you look at the amount of effort the Polar Flow web app requires just to see a single days step count data.

When I think about the type of device I use or want to use, knowing what access I have to my own information is something I consider to be a key factor. I initially started using the Polar Loop in the hope of collecting heart rate data which was unavailable with other activity tracking devices at the time. Polar is also one of the companies that has done heart rate measurement reliably for a long period of time with implementation of a chest strap (I use the H7 Bluetooth strap).  My goal of using the loop for this purpose was never accomplished, as the loop has not been the best experience for collecting exercise heart rate data and it also isn’t that useful trying to collect all day heart rate data.  I actually find that my few attempts of collecting heart rate data throughout the day is better using the H7 strap with the iOS app, but my phone eventually runs out of battery or I’m not around my phone.

In other words, I never quite achieved what I hoped to achieve using it.  However I continued to wear the tracker as my primary watch which allowed me to continue to collect step data. Now, i just want my information – which hasn’t been easy to obtain. As devices evolve, as web platforms improve – I’d love to know that I can transfer my data to new platforms over time. I’ve struggled with this issue regarding exercise data and logs in the past, I’d prefer my activity and health data not be locked up by a single company.

… If anyone has suggestions or hacks they’ve seen to get the Polar Loop activity data, I’d love to hear them.