Schools in the US are trialing fitness trackers to improve students' health.
Adidas is set to launch a heart-rate monitor, Zone, that the brand hopes will revolutionize gym class. Created in partnership with Interactive Health Technologies, the product will provide real-time exercise feedback for students and send data to teachers via the cloud for assessment.
As the rates of childhood obesity increase, with approximately one in three children in the US considered to be overweight or obese, many schools feel an obligation to intervene and encourage healthy behaviors through nutritious food and physical education. This effort has received greater attention in the US in recent years through initiatives including Let’s Move, but wearable tech has only recently gotten involved.
Because Zone is designed for students of all ages from kindergarten to high school, kids can learn healthy habits early, when they have the greatest effect, and receive personalized motivational advice. Teachers can also take on the role of personal trainer and set individual goals for students. The idea is that with fitness trackers, physical education can go beyond its limited time in school schedules and encourage habits that last.
Outside efforts in schools, children’s fitness trackers have seen a rise in popularity in the past year. Fuhu’s nabi Compete and Nestle’s Milo Champion band both gamify fitness to encourage exercise among 6- to 12-year-olds.
These devices illustrate the potential of wearables and how they have evolved from newfangled accessories to must-haves for fitness-conscious consumers. Brands can use mainstream technologies like these to tackle societal issues such as health.
As personalization becomes standard, more brands are using technology to tailor experiences to individual consumers. But when it comes to children, especially, brands shouldn’t let concerns around security and data privacy go unheeded.