I begin each semester vowing to stay away from the dessert section of the dining hall, to eat healthy and to exercise on a regular basis. All of that motivation lasts about two weeks. Now in the final four weeks of the spring semester, here I am binging on anything remotely chocolate-based and coming up with excuses to skip going to FitRec. I’m not the only who does this, right? It’s not that I don’t understand how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it does get taxing to constantly motivate yourself to exercise. When I go to my mom for advice, she swears by her Fitbit, saying that fitness wristbands really do help you stay on track. She’s not the only one with this mindset — several schools in the United States are thinking about testing Adidas’ new fitness tracker in gym classes from kindergarten through high school.
A person’s view toward fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is shaped by their experiences in childhood. While I do try to put off working out, I understand why it should be a necessary part of my life, and that is partly due to my involvement with running track and field and participating in multiple sports as a child. Implementing Adidas’ Zone tracker in schools will give children a fun perspective toward staying active. Rather than focusing on the standard nine-minute mile, teachers can personalize every workout to a student’s needs. With the Zone tracker, teachers will be able to monitor a child’s heart rate and performance and create individualized goals accordingly. All workouts will be accessible online on a software portal where teachers can easily track progress.
I’m all for including the Zone tracker in gym class workouts. Students will no longer be judged by a standardized benchmark, but can visualize their own improvements. The challenge will no longer be to beat everyone else, but instead to constantly enhance your own workout. Seeing as the tracker will sell for $139, however, Adidas’ Zone comes at an expensive price. Buying these trackers in bulk will take a sizable toll on all of these schools. When intending to participate in such programs, schools must ensure that all of their students get equal opportunities. If they do purchase these trackers, they should purchase them for every student.
I think that kindergarten is a little too young to start students on fitness trackers. In fact, most children that age are inherently lively and energetic, and a teacher can almost guarantee that a kindergartener would tire themselves out by the end of the day. Also, who’s to say that a 5 year old wouldn’t just rip the band off their wrist and throw it away? Merchandise worth $139 probably shouldn’t be given to children that young. That being said, Adidas’ initiative will be life-changing if implemented in all schools. Child obesity is a growing concern, and if fitness wristband technology can fight that, then schools should consider investing in this product.