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Should kids become interested in health and fitness technology?

3 years ago

Cliff Jones writer
Cliff Jones Dad of two. Life 1st, tech 2nd. Maidenhead, Windsor and Maidenhead, UK

Technology allows users to monitor their health and get fit to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle. By keeping an eye on your movement and vital statistics, a device can help you get on track to a better lifestyle, and, yes, it's something kids should become interested in.

Low-fi tech has been around longer than the newest generation of young adults. Before GPS watches and phones which contain accelerometers, children could monitor their health with more basic, but equally effective devices. As a kid with asthma I used peak flow meters a measure the power in my lungs. I had friends with diabetes who used glucose monitors to check their blood.

Heart rate monitors and GPS units might be excessive, but using technology to promote awareness of a healthy lifestyle is a good idea. Children may also be more receptive to stats generated by an app than to numbers on a wall chart.

Childhood obesity is on the rise and I'd argue it's because people aren't aware of how many calories they are consuming compared to energy spent. Something as simple as a pedometer could help children kick the curse of lethargy.

It's not about weight loss as much as having an active lifestyle. Some children may also be predisposed to a particular illness, such as a food allergy. Accessing an online database helps kids understand to which foods they may react.

Sports technology and wearable tech is a growing sector in the electronics market and if a child is a sports fan, there may be apps aimed at getting you moving. MapMyRun and RunKeeper could make it fun to get out and about with your kids. They don't have to pound the pavement - you could use either app to track and share the activity on a map with friends. And if they still don't want to leave the house, a little Wii bowling or Kinect volleyball might be just the thing.

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Opinion 3 years ago

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