Fourth-grader CJ Martin, fourth-grader Ren Tracer and seventh-grader Cole Meyer sport their heart rate monitors in the O’Hara School gym. (Courtesy O’Hara School)
Fourth-grader CJ Martin, fourth-grader Ren Tracer and seventh-grader Cole Meyer sport their heart rate monitors in the O’Hara School gym. (Courtesy O’Hara School)
EUGENE — Thanks to a parent donation, O’Hara physical education specialist Angi Meyer was able to purchase a set of heart rate monitors for use by students in grades three through eight. Students wear the monitors during class and — through a Bluetooth connection to an iPad and using the Heart Zone System app — their heart rates are projected onto the gym wall. The system color codes the heart rates, allowing students to see at a glance if they are below, at or above their target zone and adjust accordingly. It includes the capability for instructors to assign points to students for being in their target zone for a set amount of time. It also counts steps and generates reports for students and parents. 

Students are having fun and enjoying the extra physical education tool. “It makes you actually want to exercise,” said fourth-grader Will Pierpont.

The monitors have been a welcome tool for Meyer. “This is really an amazing resource we now have to personalize fitness,” she said. “As soon as the students put the heart rate monitors on, they literally don’t stop moving. The students have their eyes glued to their activity box that’s projected on the wall and they instantly try to move as much as possible to get into the red zone.”

Meyer added that the monitors are a “really fun motivator that connects personal fitness to the students’ world of electronics.”