University makes fitness trackers mandatory for students

There’s no shortage of data wearables can gather about what we do and how we move around, counting steps, measuring heart rate, and even recording how much sleep we get. Tracking all that info and having access to the data can be hugely empowering for users looking to optimize their physical activity and make some smart changes to their daily routine, all in the interest of promoting fitness. But would you be so happy about handing all that personal data over to someone else? That’s just what the freshman class at Oral Roberts University is doing, as the school introduces a mandatory Fitbit policy.

ORU already had a required physical fitness program, but the use of wearables to enforce the school’s policies is a new change. Students are required to wear their Fitbits to continually gather activity data, while making sure their numbers meet certain fitness guidelines.

The school developed its own in-house software to gather all this wearable data and integrate it with its grading system – that’s right, students are evaluated based on their compliance in hitting fitness goals.

The idea is to keep adding each year’s new freshman to the program, so that in a few years’ time, the entire student body is tracking their fitness data. Ultimately, ORU would like to see if it can find correlations between academic performance and physical activity.

What do you think, is this a noble experiment that encourages the development of healthy bodies along with inquisitive minds? Or is this just a bit more personal data than you’d be comfortable handing over to your school?

Source: Tulsa World
Via: Gawker

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!