Whether fitness trackers are beneficial for kids or not is a flaming debate among parents these days. As obesity continues to be a growing issue among children of all ages, with 17% of the kids in the United States categorized as obese, fitness trackers like Fitbit are becoming increasingly popular as an attempt to shift to a healthier lifestyle. While health and fitness features are also available in smartphones, Fitbit is accessible and portable, which is why it gives you accurate information regarding the total physical activity of your kids during the entire day.
While every gadget has its set of pros and cons, it is important for one to weigh out the other, for your purchase decision to be made easier. By keeping the eating habits and physical activity of your kids in mind, one can decide better whether getting a Fitbit can actually contribute in the physical wellbeing of your children.
Why it Works?
What Fitbit is best at is motivating your kids to get off the couches and keeping them on their toes. By digitally showing them their daily activity in terms of steps taken, floors climbed and miles walked, children are encouraged to strive for more. This helps in diverting from the sedentary lifestyle that keeps them glued to the screens. While this is still considered as screen time by some, the LED display gives them an accurate summary of their everyday activity without posing a significant risk to their health.
Probably what attracts kids the most is the reminder feature that encourages children to make a move when they’ve been inactive for a while. By sending a message every hour, it ensures that kids take at least 250 steps every hour.
Some smarter versions of the device are able to keep track of the specific exercise kids are busy doing, including, swimming, running, skipping, biking, and yoga etc., followed by a complete display of the workout summary. It gives you a clear understanding of your kid’s overall healthy by displaying stats like heart rate, calories burned and the overall fitness level.
By setting achievable goals that encompass your child’s physical health and ability, you can gradually increase the difficulty level of these goals to keep your kids on the move. What’s more? You can view the progress on your phone by connecting the device to the app and compare it to the previous weeks and months.
Since kids consider the device a game, there is no better way to keep them running and active by setting up challenges for them, by involving friends and family who own a Fitbit too. Since kids are naturally competitive, they go the extra mile to win small challenges that helps in fulfilling the key goal of keeping them physically active.
Why it Doesn’t?
As amazing as getting a Fitbit for your kids sounds, it’s important that you consider the cons before buying one as well. Probably the biggest risk that fitness trackers pose to your kids’ health is the EMF radiations that these trackers emit. Since your children will be wearing the device throughout the day, even during sleep hours, kids are at a risk of exposure to excessive radiation, which is harmful for their health.
Secondly, the obsession with fitness trackers can turn out to be unhealthy as kids may go for strenuous exercises to achieve goals in a shorter time span. This beats the overall motive of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Since every child has a different physique, weaker kids are more prone to bearing the adverse effects of Fitbit than reaping its benefits.
Lastly, the cost one has to pay for the device is not affordable for the majority of parents, considering the only task it does is remind your kids to stay active. If your kids lack self-governance, getting a Fitbit is the right decision, considering you’re willing to pay the premium price that comes with it.