Fitness Technologies and the American Childhood Health Crisis
When researchers see signs of heart disease in American children as young as 8 years old, it becomes clear that the issue of childhood health problems caused by obesity and physical inactivity cannot be ignored. We propose that some of the most effective solutions to this crisis lie in using technology to drive positive behavioral changes. Wearable fitness technologies, such as the Heart Zones’ Blink Armband shown above, can provide the personalized data that move individuals toward health, and this is as true for students as it is for adults.
Trends over the past two decades indicate the severity of the issue for American children:
28 of 29 obese teens who leave their teen years obese remain obese.
One in three children born in U.S. today will become diabetic.
Children today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
As a society, we promote the school environment as the best opportunity to reach children and young adults academically. To meet the ever-increasing requirements of student academic achievement, educators are given sophisticated testing technologies to monitor student progress. These data-driven academic measurements are then complemented by targeted educational curriculums and programs.
We propose that the same methodologies are what will make a difference for student health, as well. Combining sophisticated technologies to monitor student fitness progress with complementary data-driven physical education curriculums is both doable and vital. And, for students, it has the added benefit of being engaging and fun. Research shows that including technology in physical education changes student behavior, increasing motivation and reported enjoyment of physical activities.
The Heart Zones System for PE is changing the lives of children around the country! Join your fellow PE teachers around the United States who are taking ownership of their classroom and helping overcome this big issue that our children are facing today!