Wondering whether activity trackers for kids really live up to all the hype? Here’s what one pediatric physical therapist thinks…
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How many of you have coveted a FitBit or a Garmin or even an Apple Watch to finally help get you into the best shape of your life? These wearable (and fashionable) activity trackers are so popular among adults. Some of you may even benefit from some major insurance perks just by logging your daily activity levels.
Kids are beginning to catch onto the activity tracker craze as well! I even use them in my therapy practice to motivate kids to reach endurance goals. In fact, we even created a cute printable that you can use along with activity trackers for kids to earn something special when they meet their goal! Fill out the form below with your email address and name to get it sent right to your inbox!
According to a recent study, 25% of adults and more than 80% of adolescents do not achieve the recommended physical activity targets . The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week for adults and 60 minutes for children and adolescents .
With less playground time at school and more screen time at home, kids are not getting anywhere near the physical activity they need to improve their cardiovascular systems and build strong, healthy bodies. And they aren’t being motivated to initiate this movement on their own.
So, should you get your child an activity tracker to help motivate her to hit those activity targets?
That decision is up to you, but here’s our therapist perspective on why it might be a great idea:
Children are innately competitive and activity trackers for kids can provide them with the proof they need to show that they actually beat mom or dad, brother or sister, in their step count for the day. I’d say that is a win win for everyone — don’t we all have a little competitiveness in us after all?
Activity trackers for kids can teach self-motivation. Kids can see if they have or haven’t met their goal for the day and can take action to make it happen!
Does your child need some improvement with his social skills? Activity trackers can encourage physical activity among peers and spark a dialogue about who achieved their own personal goal and what that goal was.
There are over 423 unique types of activity trackers from 132 different brands ! That means that you’re more than likely to find one in your price range and with or without all of the bells and whistles.
Want even more fun ways to motivate kids to be active? Check out these movement and activity challenges for kids!
1 – Henriksen A, Haugen Mikalsen M, Woldaregay AZ, et al. Using Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches to Measure Physical Activity in Research: Analysis of Consumer Wrist-Worn Wearables. J Med Internet Res. 2018;20(3):e110. Published 2018 Mar 22. doi:10.2196/jmir.9157 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5887043/