Could Technology be the key to Rising Awareness for Kids Fitness?

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably told your children at least once that we didn’t grow up with all the technology they have access to today. No, we played outside, climbing trees, riding bicycles, playing sports and burning calories by default. But the struggle to separate our sedentary children from technology and get them more active may be the wrong approach.

Even in schools, children aren’t receiving the level of physical activity they need on a daily basis. Where gym class used to be a part of the daily regiment – or at least it was for me and most of the people I know – it’s now a once-per-week activity. Getting onto the playground doesn’t occur as often as it should either, especially if you live in a cold climate with long winters.

Then when they arrive home, most children aren’t looking forward to playing ball with their friends or running around in the backyard. All they want to do is watch TV, play on their computers and tablets, or turn on a video game. It’s all about technology, with little awareness or care for the need to exercise and burn calories.

But what if the same technology that keeping our kids on the couch was actually the answer to helping boost raise our kids fitness awareness? With all of today’s modern fitness tech, it could just be the key we’ve all been searching for.

Dr. Katie Gunter is a Pediatrician who works with Huntsville Pediatrics Associated in Alabama. Like countless doctors across North America, she says parents need to start finding ways to help children want to be more active.

“The obesity rates for children in Alabama is somewhere between the range of 15 to 20 percent,” Dr. Gunter expressed concern. She says that, if technology is what the children want, then maybe that’s exactly what we need to give them.

My 6 year old nephew already owns a smartwatch, of sorts. It’s an educational version made just for kids, teaching them to read time, basic math and other useful information. He absolutely loves it. So why wouldn’t a child love to see just how much physical activity they’re getting each day with a wearable fitness tracker?

“If you give kids a goal, they love it,” said Dr. Gunter.

Many of today’s top brand fitness trackers don’t come cheap, and not everyone can afford to give each of their children such an expensive trinket. But the industry has expanded greatly, and actually provides some pretty inexpensive fitness trackers – some made just for kids.

Good Fitness Trackers for Kids

Geoplay iBitz Kids Fitness TechThe Geoplay iBitz Powerkey is designed for children, and retails for under $15 and comes in  wide range of kid-friendly colors. Not only does it track their steps, there’s an interactive game involved to keep kids moving. A spaceship, powered by the user’s steps, travels through the galaxy, exploring outer space, and the more steps a child takes, the more they will be able to explore and unlock. Parents can set goals and rewards, and for an additional charge, award coins through Disney’s Club Penguin.

Sync Burn Fitness TechFor older children and young teens, you might want to try the Sync Burn Fitness Band, which retails for under $20. It delivers all of the vital information to raise kids fitness awareness, like the number of steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and more.  It also has the ability to sync wirelessly to smartphones via the MapMyFitness app – one of the largest fitness tracking communities in existence – so parents can see just how active their children are at school and beyond.

With the help of parents, children are able to use the Sync Burn Fitness Ban to set goals for themselves. They will be able to see (on a percentage scale) how close they are to reaching those goals, and receive a notification when they do. The band is highly adjustable to fit most wrist sizes, as well.

More technology is being released constantly. Take a look around, see what’s out there and what fits your budget. We just might be able to get the next generation back on their feet!

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