Survey: 39% of PE programs use heart monitors

By Brian Dolan
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polarAccording to a recent survey of K-12 teachers conducted by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and Polar, 51 percent of teachers said technology increases student motivation during physical education classes. The survey also found that 59 percent of teachers said that technology helps teachers better communicate with the school and district administrators about students' overall health and fitness. About 60 percent of teachers used the data from health technology like pedometers, heart rate monitors or other devices for their assessment and grading. Here are the commonly used technologies, according to the survey:

70 percent of PE programs use pedometers
39 percent use heart rate monitors
32 percent use exercise games like Dance Dance Revolution or Nintendo Wii Fit

A total of 1,375 physical education teachers participated in Polar's survey, which was conducted between between May 28 and June 15, 2009. Of those teachers 1,164 K-12 physical education teachers completed the survey. Polar noted in its press release that childhood obesity rose 37 percent between 1998 and 2006, according to a recent CDC report.

"As physical educators, it's our responsibility to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to lead healthy, physically active lives," NASPE Executive Director Charlene Burgeson said in a statement. "To achieve this, we need resources and support to create a motivating environment and offer a variety of sports and activities that meet the needs and interests of all students."

"There is no quick fix to reversing childhood obesity," Jeff Padovan, President, Polar USA said in a statement. "We must take a multi-pronged approach that focuses on nutrition, prevention, regular physical activity and a comprehensive physical education program. By giving our schools and communities the tools and resources they need, we'll be better prepared to address this issue and educate our children - helping them to lead longer, healthier lives."

For more, read the entire press release here