While it may not be totally on point (and who ever is around New Year’s Eve?), a timely new study from the Consumer Electronics Association that finds technology can help motivate people to practice physical fitness, and thus stick to New Year’s resolutions, reminds us of the flexibility of educational technology.
And as youths in America continue to struggle with obesity and other nutrition-related issues, perhaps fitness is an area whose importance is being undersold or simply forgotten by the ed-tech world.
According to the CEA, users of fitness technology are more likely to view exercise and diet positively. And there are more uses of technology for fitness than you might think—from smartphones that have GPS and pedometer capabilities, to digital weight scales, to software programs and active games like Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution products.
Much of the national conversation around children’s nutrition and fitness deals with giving kids better options for lunch and snacks, and simply encouraging them to spend more time outdoors. What’s less discussed is how to turn on to exercise kids who have already been discouraged. And many of those discouraged kids turn into those discouraged adults who make resolutions around this time each year only to drop them by Valentine’s Day.
If you want more information on fitness technology (or an excuse to travel to Las Vegas on short notice), the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show next week will for the first time feature a “Fitness TechZone” showcasing new technology developments for use by athletes, outdoors enthusiasts, and other general fitness buffs. If you can’t travel, you should at least check out more about the University of South Florida’s research on active gaming.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.