The idea of running around a gym or playing basketball may not be appealing for all. Such was the case for some children at Standish-Sterling Central Elementary—that is until they started using heart rate monitors.
The Arenac County Healthy Youth/Healthy Seniors Fund awarded $1,000 for a classroom set of heart rate monitors and tracking software. Each student is assigned a wristband to use in class and a profile to record activity. This data is then emailed to parents each night to get them more involved in their children’s physical health.
During class, students’ heart rates and zones are projected onto the wall, so they can see where they are at. Their teacher, Jennifer O’Dell, challenges them with different exercises to get their heart rate up.
“I like it because I can tell if I need to take a break if my heart rate is too high,” says fifth-grader Sidney, “Or if I need to move faster.”
Another student, who refused to go to gym class, now sees it as a video game. He self-motivates to move fast enough to get into the different color heart rate zones. Now, the challenge isn’t to get him to come to class: it’s to get him to cool down at the end of it.
“Our goal with physical education is that each child learns to do their personal best,” says Jennifer, “allowing them the potential for a healthy future.”