Edgerton officials track students' health
- Associated Press
- December 27, 2013 - 10:35 AM
EDGERTON, Wis. — A school and hospital in southern Wisconsin are using wireless digital wrist devices to track some students' health.
The Edgerton Hospital fitted 21 Edgerton Middle School students in late November with Fitbit Flex, according to the Janesville Gazette (http://bit.ly/1ikMgL4 ).
The program uses the devices to digitally monitor and track the students' physical activity and sleep over a 10-week period. Students are in charge of tracking their own diet daily and logging information using a program on school-issued electronic tablets.
Principal Phill Klamm said he and other school officials wanted to see if a technology-driven fitness program would spark more interest in health and fitness in and out of school.
Steve Zartman, a teacher and athletics coach at the school who is serving as coordinator of the program, said the devices were issued to students who had varying interest in physical activity, extracurricular activities and school athletics.
According to preliminary data results, some students don't drink enough water, eat enough fruit or get enough sleep. Many students seem to get enough activity but many get headaches that seem to come on regularly about halfway through the day.
When the program concludes, UW-Whitewater has agreed to help organize the student data and to give feedback, including whether the students who wore the devices had an increase in physical activity or improved diet or sleep patterns, according to Jennifer Ludwig, a dietician at the hospital.
Zartman said the school could use the study to determine whether students involved in sports or extracurricular activities get enough activity so that they might be able to opt out of future gym classes.
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