Virginia District Embraces Tech to Fight Obesity in Schools

As almost one in three American students are overweight, the Henrico County schools district has turned to technology in an attempt to get students more active in school.

Officials have announced that the district is launching a pioneering pilot program at three county elementary schools designed to track students' physical activity and reward them for their achievements.

The program – Moving Grooving for Life – will be provided in collaboration with New Way Fitness. The program sets physical activity goals for students, and if they meet them they will be rewarded. will strive to meet.

Mike Heppert, founder of Moving Grooving for Life, said:

"Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic, and this program is designed to fight back.

"Moving Grooving encourages and rewards children for participating in healthy lifestyle habits, including physical activity. Not only will this increased activity lower their risk of ever becoming obese, but it will help them incorporate a healthy lifestyle into their regular routine."

The program uses innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners that will be placed on school playgrounds or tracks. When students – who will be issued personalized RFID cards – passes from one scanner to another with the RFID card, the scanner will take in the information and calculate the distance the child ran or walked.

The information will be then be sent to a centralized data bank.

This comes after the Parkway school district in Missouri is testing out new ‘fat monitors' that track students' physical activity.

The district purchased the 400 electronic devices to track 2,500 elementary students' physical activity and monitor their heart rate, calories burned, steps taken, and even sleep patterns on a watch-like display.

The Moving Grooving for Life program will be piloted in March at Holladay, Rivers Edge and Ward Elementary Schools.

03 6, 2012
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