As a High School Physical Education Department, we are looking for new ways to engage and motivate our students in Physical Education classes. Wearable Heart Rate Technology is used everywhere in society by all ages when working toward personal fitness goals. The use of Heart Rate Technology in PE classes will empower students to pursue healthy and active lifestyles by understanding their individual health goals and needs. The “Heart Zones” technology provides real time heart rate data for students and teachers to view during class. Ultimately, this technology will maximize student engagement, teacher efficiency, and overall a more rewarding Physical Education experience.
- Need Represented: 1/3 of children do not meet the national guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2008) Overweight and Obesity rates are increasing each year. Further, physical activity (Hillman et al., 2009a,b; Donnelly 42 et al., 2009) and physical fitness (Hillman et al., 2005) are associated with success in schools through better attendance (Welk et al., 2010), attention (Mahar, 2006), and academic achievement (Castelli et al., 45 2007). SPS data shows that students that pass each 4 of their fitness tests in 7th grade have an amazing average attendance rate of 96%. This is showing that healthy students are attending school at a high rate than their peers that are physically not as healthy. We also know from national research that a sedentary lifestyle at early stages in life lead to a higher risk of chronic disease and mental health issues.
Additionally, students that enroll in virtual Physical Education through Launch are given free wearable heart rate technology for the duration of their course. The Launch PE course is one of most popular courses. Student feedback has been clear that they enjoy the wearable heart rate technology. Currently, students in traditional seated Physical Education classes are not being provided with this same engaging learning experience.
- Academic Impact: With Heart Zones technology, teachers are able to produce workouts that are tailored to each individual, despite student differences in level of fitness. Teachers can better monitor the safety of all students by having access to heart rate data.
Daily goals can be set and real time data is available for students to assess their heart rate data and recovery rate. This real time data can provide motivation for a student to work harder and smarter. Ultimately, the impact will maximize student engagement, student learning, and overall a more rewarding Physical Education experience. This impact will result in students taking ownership in their learning and pursuing personal fitness goals.
- Student Population: The Hillcrest student population consists of 1,018 students, with 571 students on free lunch and 79 students on reduced lunch.