Heart monitor gym classes get elementary schoolers moving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Heart monitor gym classes get elementary schoolers moving

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You won't catch many St. Matthews students sitting on the bench during gym class.

Gym teacher Heath Mueller says it's all thanks to new heart monitors and a projector that track their activity.

"I've never seen them work so hard, and I personally believe it's because it's instant feedback," he said.

Each heart monitor has a number on it.

Kids can strap it on their arm, then look right up at that number on the projector, and know exactly how they're doing in class.

The color around their number tells kids how hard their heart is working.

"Blue is easy, it's just like us talking right now," Mueller said.

Students explained that yellow means their hearts are beating at a medium rate, and red means they're hearts are working very hard.

Students have goals of spending a certain amount of time in each of those colors.

And so far, they've been successful.

"It's not because Mr. Mueller is telling them to move, but they want to," St. Matthew's Principal Joseph Wolf said. "They want to see how fast their heart can move."

Mueller says he's seen heart monitor gym classes used to keep older students healthy for years.

He's been pushing for it at St. Matthew's for a while, and he's pleased with how the kids have reacted.

(sot) "I believe this is the future of P.E.," he said. "and that's one reason I continuously push and wanted to do this."

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