TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Oral Roberts University says the use of Fitbit activity trackers has proven to be a good fit within the school’s requirement that students take part in health and fitness activities.
The school’s associate vice president of technology and innovation, Michael Mathews, tells the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2ns3zmf ) the devices have proven to be a time-saver for faculty members. Students used to track their fitness activities on paper and then turn them in for part of the grade, but the Fitbits can turn in data automatically.
The university launched its program 18 months ago, and Fitbit-wearing students have since taken more than 3 billion steps. This semester, nearly 1,300 students are wearing the devices.
Mathews says taking part in health and fitness activities is mandatory under the school’s philosophy that students must develop their body, mind and spirit, though specifically using a Fitbit is not required.
He said most colleges required some type of physical education nearly a century ago, but that by 1965, only 10 percent of colleges had the requirement.
Under the Oral Roberts program, students’ steps and heart rates are monitored by the Fitbits all day, and that data goes directly into a computer program that interfaces with the school’s grading system, freeing faculty members from the time-consuming chore of entering the data.
Jon Anderson, who programmed the system, said the goal for students is 10,000 steps a day, and 150 minutes per week of exercise resulting in an elevated heart rate.
Jesupelumi Wickliffe, a graduate student from Nigeria, said the program was beneficial.
“Millennials are going for healthy lifestyles . and ORU is leveraging that,” he said.
Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com
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