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The New Way to Track Heart-Healthy Fitness in Schools

The New Way to Track Heart-Healthy Fitness in Schools

Are kids putting enough effort into physical education class? Educators in Dubuque, Iowa are determined to find out.

Starting this school year, middle and high school students will be required to wear heart rate monitors during gym class. It’s hoped that this will show teachers which students are putting in the proper effort, and which ones are slacking.

“It will be a large portion of their [the students'] grade, because we want to grade them on what they’re actually doing in our class,” Amy Hawkins, Dubuque Schools Athletic and Wellness Director, told ABC News.

“It really takes the opinion out of things,” she added. “You know it’s not really ‘I think your kid is doing this and this in class.’”

Students will wear the monitors on his or her chest during class. Middle school students will receive their monitors at the beginning of class, and return them when class is over. High school students will be responsible for bringing their monitors with them to class.

Once the students start moving around, their heart rates will appear on an iPad used by the teacher so they can monitor who is putting in the correct amount of effort.

It’s not just the teachers who will see the heart rate monitor information. The readings will also be sent to a projector that shows the data on a large screen. The idea is that students will be able to self-monitor and self-motivate based on what they see from the monitors.

As students participate in class, they can see when they reach their target heart rate and get an idea of the amount of effort they need to put in to stay there. Teachers hope the new heart rate monitors also prevent people from slacking in class, as well as give them a clearer picture of how the class is doing.

A similar effort from multiple students in P.E. may not always equal similar results. Some people are faster runners, some are better at sports, and some are pretty bad at whatever physical activity you throw at them. With the new monitor system, grades may begin to reflect effort and ability to keep heart rate up instead of athletic ability.


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Read more: Family, Children, Fitness, General Health, Healthy Schools, , , , ,

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6:20PM PDT on Sep 15, 2014

Heart monitors seems a bit over the top ...

4:52AM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

Can it be workable for the grown-up?

12:29PM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

interesting approach

10:08AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

thank you for good article

7:19PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014


7:10PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

I'm all for fitness, I ran today in 90+ heat.

But requiring kids to wear heart monitors, sounds a little big brotherish.

5:36PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

so many fat kids

2:50PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014


2:50PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014


1:56PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

Not sure about this, but we need to do better for these kids today

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Some interesting ideas!

Informative. Thank you for posting.

Interesting article. Thank you for caring and sharing

Good info, thank you

I'm still hoping for a cold winter when I can wear a few layers to keep warm.


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