Students Required to Wear Heart Monitors in Gym Class to Make Sure They’re Not Slacking

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 18 2014 10:21 PM

Students Required to Wear Heart Monitors in Gym Class to Make Sure They’re Not Slacking

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Gym class just went high tech.

Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Loafing through gym class is an art form of sorts for many high school students. Techniques often include: hiding in the back of the gymnasium, walking—not running—the mile run around the track, half-hearted jumping jacks, and so on. For students in the Dubuque Community School District in Iowa, however, this school year will require a new get-out-of-gym strategy. High school and middle school students in Dubuque will now be required to wear heart monitors during P.E. class to monitor their heart rates to see if they’re getting enough exercise.

Here’s more on how the program will work from the Associated Press:

Students will place straps containing heart sensors around their chests. The sensors will send data about the students' heart rates that will be projected onto a screen or wall in class while they're exercising. The online application that collects the data is called Polar GoFit. It also shows how close a student is to reaching his or her target heart rate and maintains a record of how long students remain in those zones.
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The program is designed to improve student’s health by offering feedback and motivation, school officials say. And, for gym teachers, grading just got a lot easier. "I no longer have to grade students just by looking at them," Jackie Hart Weeber, a health middle school health teacher in the district, told the AP. "Now I know if they are really working."

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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