Students’ experiences of using heart rate monitors during physical education lessons.

Jan-Erik Romar, Elin Fagerström, Emilia Granlund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Background: The importance of promoting an active lifestyle from young age is widely recognized and physical education provides an opportunity to address the health-related needs of all children. The use of heart rate monitors in physical education is advocated as a technological supplement to traditional teaching methods. However, researchers analyzing innovations suggest that there are challenges to move from innovation and advocacy to widespread and effective implementation. Moreover, there is lack of research on students’ view of the use of technology in physical education
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze students’ experiences of using heart rate monitors during physical education lessons.
Participants and setting: Four intact classes with 75 students from grade five and six participated in this study. Students were during two lessons taught five different heart rate monitor activities based on guidelines about the use of technology in physical education published by the National Board of Education.
Data collection and analysis: This is a qualitative and descriptive study of students’ learning experiences. Students completed after each lesson a questionnaire about their experiences of heart rate monitors and the different activities. In addition, student activity was measured by heart rate monitors. All qualitative data were analyzed using inductive content analysis.
Findings: Student activity showed high individual variation and they were engaged in MVPA for in average 25% of lesson time. About 80% of the students liked to use the heart rate monitors and half of the students wanted to try them again during a physical education lesson or to use them during leisure time. Several students enjoyed following their heart rate but some felt that monitor was uncomfortable.
Discussion: The results showed that heart rate monitors can supplement more traditional forms of instruction, but there are challenges that teachers need to consider. The guideline recommending 50% MVPA during physical education lesson time is not easy to achieve and some students may feel that lessons are physically too demanding. However, the use of heart rate monitors can utilize individualized instruction and provide students some sense of competence and autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of AIESEP International Conference
EditorsAnn MacPhail, Mary O'Sullivan
Place of PublicationLimerick
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

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