Schools should teach kids how to use fitness tech to 'protect them from risks'
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
Stantonbury International Sports Centre
Stantonbury Leisure Centre, Milton Keynes
Y Club
Manchester, UK
star job
Competitive salary based on experience
Coventry, UK
NRG Gym Ltd
Gravesend, UK
Coach Gyms
£15k basic + commission + Bonus
Leeds, UK

Schools should teach kids how to use fitness tech to 'protect them from risks'

Job opportunities
location: Tamworth, UK
more jobs

Children and young people need more support to navigate the growing number of digital wellness technologies which track and manage their Fitness and health.

According to a new report, 70 per cent of young people – some as young as eight years old – are already using apps, YouTube videos and digital online technologies to track and manage aspects of their health.

The researchers responsible for the report – from the universities of Bath and Salford in the UK and University of New South Wales in Australia – say the findings highlight risks and opportunities for young people. They also suggest that more needs to be done to expand digital literacy lessons at school to focus on health.

Called Digital Health Generation, the report is based on survey data of more than 1,000 young people.

The report shows that 75 per cent of children owned their first mobile or tablet between the ages of eight and 11 years old – with 70 per cent using the devices for health purposes in relation to fitness or dieting.

The researchers also suggest that the growth of digital technologies can pose problems in terms of data collection, security and ownership – and also in how young people navigate the multiple and sometimes competing health advice.

Among the report's findings is that, while young people often draw on the health advice provided through digital health (such as training plans and dietary advice) – many were concerned that they would not be able to recognise if they were over-exercising or dieting too much.

Therefore, the researchers suggest that, as a priority, schools should be "supported in educating young people about digital health as part of the health curriculum".

“Over recent years there has been a surge of new online apps, blogs and videos specifically targeting young people with messages all about personal improvement in their health and lifestyle," said lead researcher behind the report, Professor Emma Rich from the University of Bath.

"These technologies offer certain opportunities for young people, but they also carry risks both in terms of the direct advice and guidance given - and the implications this can have in relation to body image for instance - but also wider concerns about data storage and ownership by third parties.

“Our findings suggest young people want to learn more about this topic, but need help in navigating a fast-paced, fast-changing online environment.

"Digital health education should promote learning that will benefit young people in ways that help them feel better prepared to manage their online health identities, particularly in relation to social media. Educational policymakers need to take notice of this specific issue in order to update and expand current provision within the curriculum. This trend in online digital health technologies will only continue to increase and we need to ensure young people have the skills and know-how to best cope.”

In addressing this issue, the researchers argue that it is essential to bring together different stakeholders, crucially with young people front and centre of policy interventions.

• To download and read the full Digital Health Generation report, click here..

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Children and young people need more support to navigate the growing number of digital wellness technologies which track and manage their fitness and health.

More News

1 - 15 of 43,312
11 Jun 2021
The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness businesses, if it intends to delay Step 4 of its ... More
11 Jun 2021
Glofox will begin offering health clubs, gyms and fitness studios instant access to financing, following a deal struck with Stripe Capital. The club management software ... More
10 Jun 2021
Hong Kong-based Bricks Group has revealed plans to launch its health club chain, U Time, in Europe and the UK. U Time currently operates a ... More
10 Jun 2021
A £30m luxury leisure development scheme which has been more than a decade in the making has finally been given the green light by Newcastle ... More
09 Jun 2021
Apple has previewed its much-awaited watchOS 8, the operating system for its Apple Watch. The latest update to the system will add a number of ... More
09 Jun 2021
Chinese health club chain Supermonkey has finalised a series E funding round, valuing the company at nearly US$1bn. The latest round was led by a ... More
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
08 Jun 2021
Gymbox has signed a partnership agreement to provide members of flexible workspace provider WeWork with both in-person and on-demand fitness classes. WeWork members will gain ... More
08 Jun 2021
A swimming pool suspended 35m (115ft) above the ground and forming a bridge between two buildings has opened as part of a residential project in ... More
04 Jun 2021
The number of health club members returning to gyms since lockdown has beaten all expectations, according to Rebecca Passmore, UK managing director of PureGym. Talking ... More
04 Jun 2021
New images have been released of what will become the first new public park in Manchester, UK, in more than 100 years. Called Mayfield Park, ... More
03 Jun 2021
The Jumeirah Group has reopened the 186-room The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, in the heart of London’s Knightsbridge following an 18-month closure for refurbishment. The 17-story ... More
02 Jun 2021
David Lloyd Clubs has enrolled former Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson to help raise the profile of its new Team PB programme. The six-week ... More
Spa Life UK
Spa Life UK
01 Jun 2021
TRIB3 has secured a franchise deal which will see it open 20 studios across Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The boutique operator has signed the ... More
01 Jun 2021
ukactive has published new data from the National ReferAll Database (NRD) – the UK’s first open-access database for exercise referral schemes. The data shows that, ... More
28 May 2021
The US fitness industry is mobilising to support the Gym Mitigation and Survival (GYMs) Act, which could provide up to US$30bn in grants to health ... More
1 - 15 of 43,312