What MVPA Tells You About Your Students’ Activity
Physical education is a crucial part of developing healthy lifestyles, and Heart Zones is dedicated to helping students develop a lifetime of fitness using personalized data through the Smart PE Movement™. Our mission is to teach students and train teachers how heart rate and other data points can be used to tailor programs to individuals—that’s why the new Heart Zones Move is the only group telemetry system that captures and displays a Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity, or MVPA, data point as a percentage of the total time in three zones: easy, moderate and vigorous—all in real time.
Before Heart Zones, physical education teachers did not easily know how their students were performing when trying to meet MVPA guidelines, so they were simply prescribing activities and exercises to large groups, generalizing everyone’s capabilities. As physical education professionals, we recognized that physical education teachers in schools needed a way to level the playing field and prescribe appropriate exercises on an individual basis. For example, why aren’t we giving students with weight, heart, and breathing challenges the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of sports or physical education? Heart Zones is transforming the way educators throughout the world teach by providing schools with the technology and data to help each student meet individual fitness goals and get healthier, regardless of their current fitness level. With classroom time restraints often as short as 25- to 45-minutes, and enormous class sizes—there needs to be an effective way to encourage fitness and provide valuable data at the same time.
The Heart Zones Move application is a solution that captures individual MVPA data as a percentage of time for each student and shows it on the Big Board display in real-time during class, motivating everyone to engage and see the benefits of physical education in schools. Any time a white burst appears on the student’s tile, it is a symbol that they are above the 50% MVPA—the standard for effort—which increases smartness, accountability, and objectivity for both the student and the physical education teacher.
Above 50% MVPA data point allows students and teachers to monitor and reflect on their heart rate in real time. Additionally, The Heart Zones Move Solution app stores time-in-zone heart rate and step tracking data so that teachers can communicate each student’s progress over time, reinforcing the benefits of physical education in schools using the real data. By monitoring individual effort and progress, MVPA also holds students and teachers accountable, letting them know if the student is giving it their best based off of their individualized zones, the heart of Heart Zones. For example, two students could have a heart rate of 125 bpm—one is a healthy and active student, while a different student may be suffering from asthma. At a heart rate of 125 bpm, the healthy student might be at the top of the Blue zone, but the student with asthma could be at the bottom of the Yellow zone, or Zone 3. Based on these personalized zones, the PE teacher can then give different instructions to each student, keeping their safety and progress in mind. If the teacher notices that a student with asthma has been in the Red zone, above 50% MVPA, for a long period of time, then they can direct that student toward a less intense activity, as well as allow time for an adequate recovery. Conversely, the healthy student could be instructed to increase their effort level in that activity. Teaching based on individual effort that awards points also ensures that each student is assessed objectively, motivating students to try their best, while allowing physical education teachers with large class sizes to grade students using meaningful guidelines.
As pioneers of heart rate fitness and zone training, Heart Zones has made it our life’s work to improve, and possibly transform, physical education using breakthrough methodology, technology, and teacher professional development training. Revolutionizing the way physical education impacts students is so important because it sets the tone for a lifetime of fitness. By capturing, storing, saving, and displaying MVPA data in the classroom, we’re doing our part to make sure students and teachers can increase awareness, accountability, and objectivity while motivating their minds and engaging their hearts.