Wearable Technology and Childhood Fitness: Investigating Technology to Enhance Fitness Levels of Elementary Students
Abstract: Wearable fitness devices such as the Polar H7, Fitbit, and Jawbone’s Up have permeated the consumer market with promises of increasing fitness levels. Preliminary research demonstrates support for this assertion. With obesity levels being a concern among our youth, it becomes more evident, that there is a need to motivate our youngest to be able to: 1) understand their fitness levels, 2) monitor their fitness levels, and 3) improve their fitness levels. This quantitative study provides evidence to support wearable technology in the physical education classroom. The study investigates the use of wearable activity monitors paired with health monitoring software to evaluate physical fitness levels in 127 fifth-graders in six physical education classrooms over an 11-week period. Results support the use of wearable technology in physical education classrooms to promote students’ increased physical activity, motivation and goal setting performance.