Fitbits Making Kids Less Active?

Fitbits in schools a step in wrong direction, make kids less active, study finds

In an article published this week in the Sydney Morning Herald, Ebony Bowden refers to a study that speculates that fitness devices actually demotivate children and lead to reduced physical activity.

Far from giving teenagers some motivation to get moving, the use of Fitbits and other activity trackers in schools has been linked to poor self-esteem and negative feelings of alienation and inadequacy.

Some schools use fitness gadgets to encourage students to be more physical by tracking steps, distance travelled and active time.  However, a study of 41 UK high school PE classes using the devices reported results of students experiencing feelings of inadequacy and lower self-esteem.

Chris Hickey, Professor of Health and Physical Education at Deakin University, says that using activity trackers in schools is “problematic” for long-term wellbeing.

Worse still, the issuing of Fitbits was coupled to unattainable targets for some students. This was counter-productive and instead of motivating them to be more active, simply provided them with ‘more’ negative feedback about themselves and caused them to reject the program.


Full article – Fitbits in schools a step in wrong direction, make kids less active, study finds in the Sydney Morning Herald.


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