Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Education Privacy Your Rights Online

Heart Monitors In Middle School Gym Class? 950

An anonymous reader writes "My son brought home an order form from his middle school. Apparently the 7th (his grade) and 8th graders are being asked (required?) to purchase their own straps for the heart monitors they're to wear during gym class. I know nothing yet of the device in question, but have left a voice-mail with the assistant principal asking him to call me so I may ask some questions about the program and the device. My tinfoil-hat concern is that the heart rate data will be tied to each child, then archived and eventually used for/against them down the road when applying for insurance, high-stress jobs, etc. 'I see you had arrhythmia during 7th grade pickle ball? No insurance for you' Has anyone heard of such a program, or had their child(ren) take part in it? Does the device transmit to the laptop the overweight gym teacher will be watching instead of running laps with the kids? Perhaps data is downloaded from the device after the class? Or am I just being paranoid? Thanks for any insight."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Heart Monitors In Middle School Gym Class?

Comments Filter:
  • Holy shit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karganeth ( 1017580 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:18PM (#29431483)
    Are people really this paranoid?
    • Re:Holy shit? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta ( 162192 ) * on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:20PM (#29431527) Journal

      Whatever happened to permission slips? Kids run and play. There are inherent risks in allowing them to run and play, but the damage done by not letting them run and play is even greater.

    • Re:Holy shit? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Steve Franklin ( 142698 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:20PM (#29431533) Homepage Journal

      Clearly the school is afraid of being sued when some kid keels over from too much exertion.

      • Re:Holy shit? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:28PM (#29431693)

        I'm betting it's not even that and it's just a heart rate monitor to improve the quality of aerobic exercise. Sounds like a pretty good program to me; if kids are going to not do physical activities willingly and do the bare minimum in gym class, monitoring heart rate might be a necessary evil to ensure they get enough exercise.

        • Re:Holy shit? (Score:5, Informative)

          by guyfawkes-11-5 ( 1583613 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:42PM (#29431963) Homepage

          I'm betting it's not even that and it's just a heart rate monitor to improve the quality of aerobic exercise. Sounds like a pretty good program to me; if kids are going to not do physical activities willingly and do the bare minimum in gym class, monitoring heart rate might be a necessary evil to ensure they get enough exercise.

          I use a HRM all the time while running or biking. Its a good way to give you feedback on your exertion level, and will allow the kids to learn more about max heart rate, threshold level etc. I would want my own band also, rather than some sopping wet band from the previous gym class. Unless they spring for the higher end moniors, the data is not downloadable and is not in any fashion similar to an EKG that would be able to determine an arrythmia.

          • Re:Holy shit? (Score:5, Informative)

            by jeffporcaro ( 1010187 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:31PM (#29434225)
            I'm a cardiologist; we use heart rate as a threshold when doing stress testing, but otherwise it has limited utility in measuring "exertion level." The Maximal Predicted Heart Rate [MPHR] was established in the late '60s as an observation, not a true prediction; a small sample of people was observed exercising to their subjective "maximum," and those rates were plotted. There was enormous variability; the slope of MPHR was simply the line of best fit from the scatterplot, and was estimated by the authors of the original article to likely be accurate within 30 points in either direction. A particular person's maximal heart rate is impossible to predict within any meaningful accuracy; obviously, the derived slope is even sloppy for large populations. There are many many "experts" with theories regarding what percentage of MPHR you should achieve and for how long in order to get aerobic benefit - there is almost no science on the subject. Currently in vogue (and to my eye, at least as reasonable as anything based on heart rate) is the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion. Basically, work to a level where you consistently feel like you're exerting yourself - that's how you get feedback on your exertion level. For an excellent discussion of this, see Gina Kolata's book Ultimate Fitness (almost 10 years old, still well-researched and interesting). There's an enormous amount of misinformation and pseudoscience out there.
        • Re:Holy shit? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Lord Fury ( 977501 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:43PM (#29431991)

          This seems to be what it's for. I'm 21 now, but during senior year we were required to use pedometers as the first step that was leading up to using heart rate monitors and pedometers to track the amount of work we did. The most we did was record the number of steps we took during class on our own personal chart to keep track of progress. The closest the school got to seeing the charts was when the gym teacher checked over everyone's chart at the end of the week to make sure everyone was doing it and to maybe encourage those that had lower numbers to try harder.

          Try and find out from the school what data they'll be keeping, but for the most part this program seems to be getting lazy kids to work harder during gym.

        • Re:Holy shit? (Score:5, Informative)

          by GMFTatsujin ( 239569 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:57PM (#29432225) Homepage

          I'm betting it's not even that and it's just a heart rate monitor to improve the quality of aerobic exercise. I concur.

          I worked as a technical writer for a place that made HRMs. We sold to pro athletes, gyms, personal trainers, Navy seals, fitness enthusiasts of every stripe... we even had a version of the product made especially for training race horses. It was pretty cool.

          I was surprised at what a difference using one of those things made in my *own* ability to exercise. I'm an overweight writing nerd, but man: there's nothing like beeping, booping technology to get my interest. Using an HRM is like keeping score on a video game. Or playing the tomagotchi game with your body as the avatar. Or something.

          Something fun and trackable, anyway.

          The HRM went a long way toward getting me off my butt and dropping pounds because it provided metrics and feedback that I could understand and affect. That's more than my "hustle! hustle! hustle!" school coach ever managed to do.

          All this being said: I doubt that the information on your kid is going to be recorded for more than 9 weeks, honestly. There are, like, serious LAWS about that information getting off campus, too. Anybody who is into selling kids' info to Nefarious Businesses Incorporated is going to have access to a lot more dirt than just a weird blip on your child's HRM.

          That HRM, by the way, is certainly *not* medically diagnostic in quality. I'd be surprised if it did more than note the heart rate at 1 second intervals and track the changes over time. It *might* try to estimate a general sense of fitness on the heart, but it will, at best, give you a meaningless number on a scale from "is this thing on?" to "cybernetically enhanced athlete trained atop the Himalayas from birth."

          No need to worry. The poster's school's coach is probably just trying to do a great job at keeping the kids in his care interested in physical fitness. I applaud him/her for it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by guruevi ( 827432 )

          There are several issues with that:

          a) If kids don't get enough exercise but only what they do in school, that's the parents' problem and maybe the parents' need to be looked after. In Europe, we had only 4 hours of gym class per week and later 2 hours of gym and none of the kids in my school were morbidly obese. We had some fat kids but they weren't keeling over from the exercises they were to do, instead they were coached on how to do better and how to reduce their body weight. I do have a legitimate disab

      • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @06:07PM (#29432411) Journal

        Clearly the school is afraid of being sued when some kid keels over from too much exertion.

        Or just maybe their afraid that the morbidly obese 4th graders that come wheezing into gym class with secret sauce stains on their chins might have to be watched a little more closely during exercise.

        But of course, these are school boards making these decisions, and educators, and everyone knows that educators are all a bunch of commie-fascist-libruls who want to deny our god-given right to raise our kids like veals and stuff them so fat that they won't have the energy to bother us while we're watching Glenn Beck who by-gawd has the number of that Barack bin Obama who wants to force us all to have access to health care just like Hitler.

    • Re:Holy shit? (Score:5, Informative)

      by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:36PM (#29431843) Homepage Journal
      Private health insurance does that to a person. The system in the US is screwed up beyond all repair. For instance, if a company finds out that you or anyone in your immediate family has any medical problems that ends up being a HUGE strike against you. Legally they cannot ask such questions, but they have ways of finding out(from illegal but common searches to just seeing if you have any obvious health issues when you show up to the interview).

      US health insurance is KILLING US competitiveness abroad(not to mention the insanely top-heavy structure of US businesses, but thats another conversation). The sheer amount of cost(both for the insurance and the staff to administer it) about nullifies the cost advantages US workers have over European workers(who have higher taxes associated with them, but no health insurance), and makes Canadian workers look extremely attractive(health insurance is covered, but unlike Europeans they can actually be fired without spending massive amounts of time and money filling out pointless paperwork to get rid of a paperweight).
    • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:36PM (#29431863) Homepage Journal
      Have you ever been rejected for family medical coverage because your child had a urinary infection once, and a test to make sure it wasn't serious? I have.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by GMFTatsujin ( 239569 )

        That's what you get for caring, Bruce. If you'd just practiced more neglect, everything would have turned out fine.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That is horrible and hopefully upcoming legislation will address that, but its quite a logical leap from that to what the poster is fearing.

        Although, the last time I disagreed with Bruce he was 100% correct in his prediction. Hmm... I know who I would believe if I wasn't me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        This is a case of the insurer solely looking at the procedure code and not at the actual diagnosis. Your family physician has to associate a procedural code with a charge in order to be reimbursed for the test. The insurance industry looks at the procedural codes with the idea that if you were tested for a serious condition, the doctor may have felt that you have a predisposition for that serious condition. I think this practice is flawed in logic and morally wrong. A physician is less likely to perform a t

    • Re:Holy shit? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gerzel ( 240421 ) * <(moc.liamg) (ta) (terrefyllorb)> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:43PM (#29431973) Journal

      About Health Insurance in the US it isn't paranoid. They ARE out to get you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by no-body ( 127863 )


      Hardly - greedy, most likely..

      Hey - wanna buy a DVD with 2000 folk's heart rate records over 3 years, names with addresses and all?

  • Paranoid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Misanthrope ( 49269 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:19PM (#29431499)

    They're probably just going to monitor heart rate to optimize aerobic exercise. At a certain point if your heart is beating too fast you'll end up in anaerobic mode. []

    • Re:Paranoid (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:24PM (#29431605)
      I would be surprised to find its to optimize the heart rate. I'll lean more towards making sure these 12 year old tubs of lard don't keel over from a heart attack during gym class and the parents sue the school.
    • Re:Paranoid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:26PM (#29431643) Homepage

      Paranoia, yes, but on who's part?

      Surely the school didn't purchase a bunch of new heart monitors because it might improve the calorie-burning of their students. Most likely what happened was that some kid presented with a previously-undetected heart defect and the school got sued. Now they're instating this to make sure that if someone else comes in with a funky rhythm, they can be taken to the hospital or allowed to rest as needed.

      On an even more paranoid note, wouldn't the presence of these heart monitors open them up for these lawsuits to begin with? "Well, Johnny was WEARING a heart monitor when his heart stopped! The doctors said that there was probably some kind of variation in the heart's rhythm, and the school didn't detect OR treat it until it was too late! They LET our child die!"

      • Re:Paranoid (Score:5, Informative)

        by dreamt ( 14798 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:32PM (#29431767)

        If only this is what a capability of the heart rate, it could make sense. You are thinking something like an EKG/EEG. A heart rate monitor that they are most likely referring to would be something like one sold by [] where the basic model just tells you your current heart rate. Nothing about detecting rhythm, etc. Its just how many beats/minute your heart is pumping.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MozeeToby ( 1163751 )

        Surely the school didn't purchase a bunch of new heart monitors because it might improve the calorie-burning of their students.

        Why not? The school probably already spends tens of thousands on gym equipment, and tens of thousands more on volountary after school sports. What's a hundred simple heart rate monitors at a bulk rate? A few hundred bucks for something that has been shown to improve the quality of excersise should be a no brainer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Otter ( 3800 )

        Surely the school didn't purchase a bunch of new heart monitors because it might improve the calorie-burning of their students.

        If you haven't been paying attention this summer -- fat people are the new terrorists. It seems a lot more plausible to me that a school is implementing a weight control plan than that they're expecting a gym teacher to diagnose cardiac abnormalities with a heart rate monitor, something a cardiologist couldn't do usefully.

        Thinking this over some more, though, I'm more sympathetic to

      • Heart rate monitors cannot detect heart defects. They're simple pieces of athletic equipment that are used to get good aerobic exercise. I think it's great that PE is introducing kids to the concept.

        One of the signs of paranoia is a tendency to spin fanciful tales off the slimmest of's not to look up what these things are if you're not familiar.

      • Renraku says:

        Paranoia, yes, but on who's part?

        ...Now they're instating this to make sure that if someone else comes in with a funky rhythm...

        If someone comes in with a funky rhythm, the school should encourage them to listen to some James Brown or Parliament Funkadelic so that they can get that shit down right.

    • Re:Paranoid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Otter ( 3800 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:26PM (#29431647) Journal
      Back in the olden days, we used to monitor our pulses in gym class using a finger and a clock. No, there's nothing suspicious about this, and anyone who used common equipment in gym should understand the benefit of buying your own strap instead of digging through a box to find the least sweaty one from the period before.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SethJohnson ( 112166 )
      This whole question is just ridiculous. Polar sells these kits that schools can buy to use for improving exercise programs. It includes a bunch of chest straps and a bunch of wrist watches. The kids wear the stuff while they run around in gym class. At the end of class, the kids turn their stuff in and the teacher can download the data from the watches via IR to a computer. Then the kids' heart rates can be tracked. It's really an method for optimizing the workouts. It also demonstrates progress over time o
  • Well (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:20PM (#29431513)
    That device isn't sophisticated enough to detect arrhythmias. It's heart rate, that's it. And if your child DOES have heart problems, sooner or later he or she will need to see a physician, who will be sure to inform the insurance company of the condition. What I am getting at is that there's no hiding from big brother anyways, so you might as well not worry about the minor infringements of privacy.
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by broken_chaos ( 1188549 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:27PM (#29431673)

      Likely it's identical to the device that comes with/works with some treadmills. It detects BPM (beats per minute) and that's pretty much it. That's about all the data that's useful for pure exercise monitoring anyway. If this is a public middle school and they're just asking you to buy the strap and not the device, then that's likely the most sophisticated they could afford, even if there was 'evil' motivations behind it. Seen physical education budgets lately?

      So yeah, just a little paranoid...

    • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dkf ( 304284 ) <> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:29PM (#29431699) Homepage

      And if your child DOES have heart problems, sooner or later he or she will need to see a physician, who will be sure to inform the insurance company of the condition.

      Seeing a doctor may also have the side effect of saving their life if they do have an arrhythmia. Having the opportunity to get health insurance later does them no good if they drop dead due to a treatable heart condition first.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 2short ( 466733 )

      And it almost certainly won't be tied to individual kids anyway. It takes a more expensive strap than they'll have you buy to have two work in close proximity, and in any case the transmit range is feet. They'll probably pass around one non-logging receiver. The only reason to have them buy their own strap is the sanitary issue. I wonder if they'll bother with the recommended conductive gel nobody actually uses? I can just picture being the gym teacher trying to deal with the social issues of gettin
  • Troll? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:20PM (#29431515) Homepage Journal

    This would be a pretty good troll posting. Nicely done, if so.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:20PM (#29431521)
    Supplying that information to anyone else would be a violation of FERPA and HIPAA statutes. In fact, you should hope that they DO leak this information, because then you could sue their asses off.
  • Topper (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:21PM (#29431549)

    That's nothing!!!111
    My kid was drugged and kidnapped, then had an explosive collar put around their neck, and dumped on an Island for a battle to the death.

    Also, I think you're over reacting

  • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:22PM (#29431561)

    If your child has heart problems, the device will alert staff. Or, they could be like this guy and be on trial for manslaughter. []

    Lots of others like him too. They probably just want to avoid lawsuits.

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:23PM (#29431591) Homepage Journal
    Although this could be dismissed as paranoia, there are some serious concerns here. Do you have a legal right to privacy concerning your child's medical record, captured in a non-medical context, in a public school? Does HIPAA or any other law currently on the books presently address this? Do you have a right to be informed regarding the disposition of such data before it's collected?

    You had a good reason to consult the principal, if you don't get assurances in writing I wouldn't suggest that you allow the device to be used on your child.

  • Paranoid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ben Newman ( 53813 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:25PM (#29431621)

    I vote paranoid. In all the places I've heard of this used its only used as a way for the students to collect their own information and to monitor themselves and their own heart rate. These devices are generally only heart rate monitors, in no way are they designed to notice an arrhythmia, and I've never heard of the data being collected in any way. Besides since they've asked you to purchase the equipment, you would be better able to know exactly what the capabilities of the model you were asked to buy then a bunch of random Slashdotters. Stop reading the site and do some research.

  • by jerzee55 ( 1274446 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:25PM (#29431625)
    I saw something similar in a school where I teach. A research project involving a group of children was asked to participate after parental permission and notification and consent were given, detailing the purpose of the project, asking for permission for blood samples and a complete physical given to the child free of charge. The students were awarded gift certificates and other free items such as calculators, CD carriers, and water bottles. The heart monitors were worn during gym class only, and the heart rates were compared prior to and after exercised to measure heart rate resting times. The data was tied to numbers, not names, and was stored that way, so there were no long term consequences of the test, and all information was shared with parents. If you have not given your permission for this testing, I would certainly be upset as a parent that you have not been given any information as to the use of the data, or the confidentiality of the data.
  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:29PM (#29431701) Homepage

    A heart rate monitor is an incredibly valuable exercise aid.

    You want to keep your heart going fast, but not TOO fast. Especially when coupled with treadmills and similar devices, you can stay in the target heart rate zone automatically as the device adjusts the load.

    Likewise, its very useful in combination with a GPS-based bicycle computer: it really allows you to see where you are strong, where you are pushing yourself TOO hard, and when you really need to go harder.

    Also, exercise heart-rate monitors aren't THAT precise: you can detect a gross abnormality like atrial fibrilation, but nothing subtle.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The heart rate monitor is actually a fun thing to have.

      I usually only wear it when I'm on my bike, and I do find it quite fun to see just for how long I can keep my heart rate at 170+, 175+ and 180+. I'm 32, so my target should really be around 160, but I'm still in really bad shape, so I'm constantly above that if I want to feel like I'm doing something.

      But when I started this back in June I could hit a peak of about 180 for maybe a minute before I'd feel like I was dying, and now I can hold 180+ for sever

  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:32PM (#29431779) Homepage

    My tinfoil-hat concern is that the heart rate data will be tied to each child, then archived and eventually used for/against them down the road when applying for insurance, high-stress jobs, etc. '

    This is beyond tinfoil. This is the among the stupidest things I've ever read as an ask slashdot. It just goes to show that parental instincts can turn intelligent humans into frightened, protective, stupid animals.

    Submitter: A heart rate monitor is just a more accurate way of measuring someone's pulse. Have you ever exercised in your life? Did you put your fingers to your neck to check your pulse? This is the same thing, but with more accurate reading. And it beeps if your heart rate gets too high so you know to slow down.

    Do some damn research and try to collect your brains back into your skull. The big scary world isn't trying to ruin your little darling by checking his pulse.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sparr0 ( 451780 )

      There is no computer saving the data when I check my pulse with my finger.

  • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:35PM (#29431815)
    I sure as hell hope that Obama and the congress/senate outlaws denying insurance based on preexisting conditions. It seems like such an obvious abuse of the uneven patient - insurer relationship and an area sorely in need of regulation.
  • Paranoid (Score:5, Funny)

    by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:40PM (#29431927) Homepage

    There is a secret device in there that is using WiFi (with it's own cancer-causing radio waves, too) to communicate directly to Obama's death panels in the (former) white house. They are still perfecting the reverse control that can kill your kid right on the spot the moment they figure out his health care will be too expensive, so I would really watch out if they insist on updating the device! Fortunately a tin foil hat pressed firmly around the kids head will stop the transmissions, and for extra security you can also get a surgeon to implant tin foil wrapped right around the kid's heart, too.

    Seriously, this is obviously a heart-rate monitor like those in treadmills to measure the quality of aerobic exercise.

  • Its ok, relax (Score:3, Informative)

    by scubamage ( 727538 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:47PM (#29432049)
    I use a heart rate monitor every single day when I run. Most likely the school is either A) providing monitors for children to use, or B) the straps will communicate with exercise equipment. The data it reads will be for things such as heart rate thresholds, and calories burnt. Further, it will help decrease the risk that your child hurts his or her self through over-exertion. Without having their own dedicated heart rate monitor, there is no way for the child to be tied to the data. Even if there were, the data would be innocuous. From my heart rate monitor (Polar F11) you can tell when I exercised, the duration of the exercise, calories burnt, percent fat burnt, and what aerobic/anerobic zone the exercise was performed at and for how long. There is no personally identifiable information. The strap itself basically just sends out electronic pulses in time with your child's heart on a specific frequency so that it doesn't interfere with other kids' straps. The straps themselves are dumb, they have no identifying information on them. They literally do nothing but send out a pulse every time they sense a heart beat.

    I appreciate your concern, but honestly it's nothing to be worried about, millions of people around the world use heart rate monitors without any issue. I actually have to give kudos to your kids' school as well. Learning about proper anerobic/aerobic zones is pretty important when it comes to exercise. Further, be glad they're having your child purchase the strap, as opposed to using someone else's which could lead to ringworm, and a bunch of other gross fungal problems.

  • by jbuck ( 579032 ) <jtbuck AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:48PM (#29432065)
    You think this bad? Sure now they are just monitoring the rate of your child's cardiopulmonary development. and perhaps worse yet, they are probably going to compare your child to all the other children based on this metric. But this is just the tip of iceberg! I know how these public schools work. In a few weeks time you'll get notice that they have also been tracking your child's mental and cognitive development!! And, per their M.O., comparing your child to all the other children. They'll probably even have your child get up in front of all the other children and perform some sort of demonstration or cognitive feat. I've even seen cases where they administer tests and enter the results into your child's permanent record. Let's just hope and pray that the laws of the land will prevent these so-called "tests" from falling into the hands of potential future employers. Or, god forbid, future high schools.
  • by brkello ( 642429 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:50PM (#29432091)
    Particularly since if we did have government run health care, no one would be denied. You should be more worried that we don't get a health care bill passes and some how insurance companies would get this data. Then they would for sure not cover your child since it had a pre-existing condition.
  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @05:54PM (#29432153) Journal
    On the practical side, schools don't have any money for the necessities, so I doubt they'd spend any money on equipment to log heart rates of individuals. They're likely just going to use it to optimize physical training for each kid as much as possible. Look on the bright side: if your kid learns now to use a heart rate monitor, he might use one later in life for regular exercise and be overall healthier.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @06:19PM (#29432599) Homepage

    From the comments, I suspect that most Slashdot readers don't spend much time in gyms.

    Heart rate monitors are very useful. They tell you what resistance level you should be using on the cardio machines. Some of the fancier cardio machines read your heart rate and automatically adjust the resistance level to keep your heart rate in the training zone.

    Great for obese kids. And adults. It fine-tunes their workout to a level they can handle while preventing goofing off.

    If the school is really doing that, good for them. They're doing it right.

  • by Torodung ( 31985 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:00PM (#29433203) Journal

    This is very much like being worried because your kid is taking trig, and the teachers were using dependable, hand-crafted slide rules, but decided to end that and switch to programmable calculators with memory, and ZOMG it could remember all your kids math mistakes and thus rule them out of future employment!

    You can see where that sentence went silly right? Right about the point where you became afraid of any change, anything at all, that you were completely ignorant about. Ask Slashdot? Really? Ask the fscking gym teacher first.

    Your choice. Be reasonable and talk to the teacher, or assume the gummint is out to get you, but you won't home school, so you'll just have to send your kid into school with a gun. Either should solve your problem. One would be very amusing, and you should post the story to Slashdot telling us what happens next.


  • YES (Score:4, Funny)

    by wampus ( 1932 ) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @09:42PM (#29434881)

    You are being paranoid and it troubles me greatly that your retarded ass reproduced.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.