Lauren Stewart has been a friend of Exergame Fitness and the Exergaming world for years now. She is currently an elementary school PE teacher in Massachusetts but is doing great work with Polar Electro. Polar specializes in making fitness tracking watches/wristbands for different types of activities and apps that monitor progress and read out data from your tracker. For example, she could give her whole class the Polar Loop 2 wristband and then have all of their progress uploaded in real time onto the Polar GoFit app. The Polar GoFit app is extremely useful for teachers and professionals like Stewart, it completely changes how you approach physical education in school programs.
These wristbands are capable of tracking your heart and sending this information to the Polar GoFit app then analyzing it. It can also count calories burned, steps taken, time spent active, and more detailed information for a teacher or trainer to use. With these tools, teachers like Stewart can see the progress and effort coming from each student and use the data to motivate them, she says, “I’ve improved my instruction in a positive way after reviewing the heart rate data.” When she looks at her Polar GoFit app and sees a student is falling below in heart or number of minutes active, she can then address the problem. Whether it be simple motivation for the task at hand or focusing on a different activity, the Polar equipment line helps you see and understand this.
We can’t pass up looking at the possibilities of the mix of both Exergame and Polar equipment. This motivational system that the data from the Polar GoFit app produces is extremely beneficial for teaching. Compare this system with the one Exergame Fitness sets up, a reward system, they seem to be opposites. But combining the instant gratification/reward system with Exergame Fitness equipment along with the goal/data tracking system from Polar Electro, this can really create an environment for kids that make them enjoy fitness and seek to better themselves as well.
Outside of the actual fitness aspect of the Polar GoFit app and equipment, it has another purpose, validity of the importance and professionalism in the physical education world. PE Teacher Jan Combs in Hawaii has this to say,
“If we can show that we are an absolutely essential part of our students’ day, then we’ll gain the trust and support of our students and their parents. We’re not just playing games in PE, we’re professionals using the best technology to give us the best.”
She makes a good point in that the industry has to be looked at as more than just games on the physical education level and more as required knowledge and skills to obtain. Combs points out a way in doing this, printing out data from the apps to teach them how to make and read charts/graphs. Integrating lessons and knowledge from other subjects with the data from the Polar GoFit app makes the experience all the more engaging.
As technology grows, businesses have to grow with it, and it is crucial that the sport and fitness industry stays ahead of the curve. It not only innovates the way we can stay fit and teach fitness but, as mentioned before, gives the industry more of a leg to stand on in terms of people taking it seriously. Kids nowadays are addicted to technology there is no denying that. Ignoring that will not work, so embracing it and getting them addicted to interactive & fitness technology is the key.
Polar has a great product line that can be found here. Their technology works across all levels of physical activity such as team sports, PE programs, personal training and much more. We always wish the best to Lauren Stewart and her classes, we know she will be working hard to not only get the name of Polar Electro out to schools but also, getting kids involved in interactive fitness.
Please follow Lauren Stewart on Twitter (@heathhawkspe). She is always looking to connect with more people and would love to share ideas and thoughts on the industry and on Polar. Link to her Twitter page here.