Heart rate monitors need changes


Cartoon by Holly Winiars

Ben Martin, Sports Editor

Are they uncomfortable or an easy grade? Heart rate monitors have returned to gym and physical education classes this year since last appearing in the 2019-2020 school year.
Heart rate monitors are being used to measure a student’s beats per minute in a given amount of time twice a week for healthy fitness days (Tuesdays and Thursdays).
Frustration from students is continuing about the heart rate monitors due to there being an insufficient amount of time for students to be in the “healthy heart-rate zone” in class.
Students are tasked with having their heart rate be between 140 bpm and 180 bpm for a total of 20 minutes.
This amount of time is unreasonable due to the “walk and talk” portion of the gym periods taking up as much as 10 to 12 minutes of the class not including the time it takes to designate activity groups and set up games and such.
Students who have the heart rate monitors for that week are forced to meet that expectation of 20 minutes with less time in their activity and with less energy due to running for all the walk and talk time.
So during a time where students can socialize with friends and warm-up by moving their legs, most students try to get a headstart by using the time to run.
This amount of time results in students trying to rush to get 20 minutes regardless of what physical condition they are in. So even an athlete in top shape may still not earn a high score.
Another reason that the monitors are disliked is the discomfort the heart rate monitor straps cause for students.
Some straps are too short to fit students, yet they are required to run, jump, throw etc. while wearing them for a gym period.
Along with discomfort, students are told to wear a large adjustable watch that measures the amount of time they are in the zone so the student and teacher can check the time and heart beat.
If a student does not meet the minimum amount of time in the heart rate zone, the student has points taken off for that day.
These issues can be fixed if there were a more available selection of adjustable straps and less amount of time needed to be in the zone, rather than 20 minutes.
Another way to resolve the time issue is starting the unit games or fit-day activities sooner by cutting back walk and talk time.
With less walk and talk time, it would give students the availability to make it to that benchmark of 20 minutes easier and not risk loss of points.