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You Do have to let Kids be Kids – They Outsmarted the Adults and Put the Pedometers on their Dogs

Posted Jul 10 2009 11:03pm

Boy depending on the dog, they had to have some outstanding results!   I like devices as much as the next person but the human side and reasoning seems to always get left out.  A while back I did a post about a similar study with kids being stuck with heart rate monitors to curb their social image behavior, what a bunch of junk.  Here’s the entire post below, and maybe they might work better with a dog? 

The pedometers are not as intrusive as with the heart monitors and wanting kids to look at them to help control their behavior, heck I wouldn’t want to wear one of those for that reason either and like I stated below I would be figuring some way to ditch it too as the implementation and use was wrong with living a life.   Where’s the parent role here?  Is a siren going to go off saying “danger, danger” when an upset mood is detected?  It all comes back to education and not having a device in some area to try and force compliance when it comes to good healthy living, devices can and will be trashed if not used correctly.  BD 

Intrusive Technology?

Schoolchildren given heart-rate monitors to curb anti-social behavior

I write quite a bit about new healthcare technology and this article somewhat relates to some of the monitoring devices we are now seeing in healthcare.  Schools in London are now testing the device that is strapped on to a child who is determined to be unruly.  The devices are slated to also help the children recognize their own trigger points and better deal with their anger, something we as humans have done as parents and teachers, so now instead of perhaps a littlehuman intervention, the child is now being left with a device to educate oneself instead of some nice warm direction from a human?  

There are many such devices making their way in to our lives, non regulated as far as how they are used and perhaps not enough education out there to suggest how to perhaps effectively use such devices, such as home monitoring devices for seniors.  Some of the information offered from devices is good, such as notifying of a fall for a caregiver as an example, but how far does it go to where the caregiver relies on the device and the whole idea of human interaction disintegrates?

Devices can be helpful, but hopefully not to the point where we forget how to bond as humans.   If I were perhaps an unruly child myself, I might be entertaining how to “ditch” it, or somehow make sure it finds its way to the trash compactor.   The related reading section has some posts about medical devices and what they can offer, but again the deal is are we using technology constructively, or simply putting a device in a place where normal human intervention might be better.  There is nobody minding the store on much of it and there simply needs to be a balance and not a shift to hooking us up to devices that offer very little warmth and human interaction, and not just working to convey and institute the “big brother” society of information management.  image

The gadgets are normally used by athletes to track the intensity of their heart rate during exercise. But a health trust is now testing the devices to help measure the anger levels of children. They hope it will allow them to pre-empt playground fights and classroom disruption.

Children with behavioral problems aged seven to 15 wear the monitors strapped to their chest during lessons, break and at home with their families. Nurses and psychologists work out each child's "danger level" heart rate and the device bleeps when the level is reached. Teachers or parents alerted by the monitor can then take action to calm or distract the child.

The Health Blog was impressed by the cleverness of some 11- and 12-year-old obese children in east London, who were participating in an exercise research study.

The kids were supposed to be wearing pedometers to measure the number of steps they were taking each day. But some of those in the study got the bright idea to clip the pedometers to the collars of their pet dogs, upping the distance the youngsters appeared to be moving each day, according to the BBC.

So it goes in conducting research studies in the real world. Studies that use so-called self-report measures, in which individuals have to recall and record their own actions or attitudes, have to be looked at with some skepticism because they depend on participants’ ability or willingness to report accurately.

Kids Fool Obesity Researchers, Put Pedometers on Dogs - Health Blog - WSJ

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