Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Technology in Health

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Technology being a part of our daily life is no longer science fiction. This has become reality! I contribute this fact to the ever growing popularity of smart phones and having a connection with social sharing websites. It seems as though people live their lifes on the web and are always expressing themselves in different ways. From the occasional comical comment, to "what type of bagel" that they are having with their "iced coffee." Why can't this technology be used to benefit people in a more meaningful manner than just socially. Maybe the answer is already here.
Applications, or "apps" as it is said in the new aged texting lingo are normally used for entertainment. Their is no reason though that this prevalent resource can not be used for much more! The opportunity for apps in education are endless, because the number of people that use cellular devices is increasing each day. Within my Adapted Physical Education class we were introduced to this very type of technology. Activities were created using the the app interface and students were able to interact for a cognitive benefit. Also at the same time that they were performing the activity fine motor skills were being refined. The possibilities for this type of technology within A.P.E.  classes are endless. These tools are still in the developmental stage, but I feel within a short time this technology will play a crucial role in A.P.E. Applications like "Zamzee," and "OptumizeMe" are already being used within the world of health and fitness. Zamzee is an app that tracks the physical activity of the user throughout the day. This is monitored using a pedometer type device that one can carry with them in their pocket. By doing this the user can track if their activity level is speeding up, or slowing down in a daily log. Also multiple users can join up and challenge each other in to performing fitness based activities. The more activities an individual does the more points are awarded. This brings in friendly competition, and in turn makes the users work harder. OptumizeMe is based on the same premises as Zamzee, but now individuals can display their daily log on social sharing networks. This makes the user work harder, so that better results can be shown. These types of  applications have already been proven to increase physical activity by thirty percent! This to me is an astounding number!
Having ones physical activity increased by thirty percent is such a benefit to overall health! Having this type of technology be applied in Physical Education to me is the future of the P.E. curriculum. Having the ability for students to monitor their physical activity throughout the day, making sure that they are getting the recommended sixty minutes of activity a would be such a benefit. This allows the students to utilize the skills taught to them during class and then express them in a meaningful manner. The development of healthy habits at a young age within students is one of the many paths to lifelong fitness, and because of advancing technology I feel as though the outlook of the health across the WORLD has a bright future!

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