Updated: 5th, November 2016.
Before you buy any brand of fitness tracker for your child; here are the basic things you should know about kids fitness tracker.
According to health report; people that exercise and feed well are less prone to diseases because their immune system functions optimally and they stand a better chance of living longer than those that does not exercise their body.
Aside from good health; being in good shape; both physically and mentally instill a certain type of confidence in kids; the type of confidence that any parent would want their kids to have.
As it is right now; the food we eat; the luxury of cars and other technology that makes life easier contributes mainly to the poor fitness attitude amidst humans; while those technology have done us a lot of good over the decade; it’s important to keep a check on their usage and avoid falling victim of the disadvantages that comes with.
According to this research; about 70% of American adults are overweight or obese, 20% of adolescent age children and 17% of children between the age of 6 – 11 are overweight or obese.
You would agree with me that; kids love watching tv, playing video games and surfing the internet; these activities are all under the passive category of daily activities; because they do not require physical movement and usage of various body muscles and joint.
Passive activities are not only bad for the physical health; they also have negative impact on the mental health. People that exercise are known to have a high functioning mental state compared to those that doesn’t.
Now; that you know the negative effect of passive activity; how do you get your kids to be more active? How do you get them to love active activities, how do you get kids to move more and be more active? How do you keep your child physically fit, how do you teach them about fitness and nutrition and its benefits on both the physical and mental health?
This is where kids fitness tracker comes in; they are various types of wearable technology that helps in monitoring different aspect of your child’s health and fitness.
What are Kids Fitness Tracker?
Kids fitness trackers are generally small wearable device designed to monitor fitness related activities in Kids. They measure data such as steps, calories usage and consumption, sleeping hours and quality. In simple terms; they monitor and record kids fitness activities.
Most wearable kids fitness tracker works in synchronization with desktop or mobile apps that basically analyze the acquired data. The ideal fitness tracker for kids are integrated into the form of game; as this allows kids to have fun while benefiting from the numerous advantages of fitness trackers. Most kids would love to wear their fitness tracker because it has cool games on them.
Some fitness trackers are also associated with social media network through their mobile apps; that allows users to share their fitness achievement across social network.
Some fitness tracker apps synchronized with kids fitness tracker allow parents to create a reward based system for every fitness achievement.
Most kids fitness trackers can be worn on the wrist as wrist bands, there are also arm bands and waist bands varieties but the wrist bands varieties are more common; fashionable and easy to use for kids. They can easily be worn on the wrist like a regular digital wrist watch,
Benefits of Kids Fitness Tracker:
In the earlier part of this post; I wrote about the importance of engaging kids in active activities rather than passive activities. Engaging in passive activities allows maximum usage of the entire motor skills of the body; it gives the brain enough blood supply which will directly result into more mental alertness.
Because most fitness trackers are designed as wearable devices that acquire data and synchronize the data to a mobile app or a desktop app; the data acquired can then be analyzed to improve health performance
The importance of the data acquired from this device cannot be overemphasized. You basically get real-life data on how much of calories your kids are burning per day; you get to know about the hours of quality sleep they get on daily basis, and the number of kilometers they walk or run through.
With this kind of information; as a parent you can adjust your diet to include more carbohydrate or protein as the case may be; you can also put measures in place to ensure that your child gets more quality sleep at night. It’s also been proved that fitness tracker plays a crucial role in motivating kids to do more as regards to the metrics obtained from previous activities.
As it is right now; the benefit of kids fitness tracker is on the high end; some tracker comes with an in-built GPS; that allows you to locate your kids position based on synchronized data.
Buying Kids Fitness Tracker:
When buying a fitness tracker for your child; there are certain things you should use as evaluation standard. There are many choices out there; making it extremely difficult to choose the right fitness tracker for your child.
In this section of the post; I would highlight some standards; and what you should always check out for; when buying kids fitness tracker.
Comfort-ability: Because most kids are playful and the generally don’t want any foreign materials (Be it tracker or wrist watch) hindering their movement or activities, it’s highly advisable to consider the comfortability of the fitness tracker before making a purchase.
You should check the slap bracelet to see if it’s something the kids can wear without feeling uncomfortable.
Another factor worth of note is the hook for fitness trackers that has one. Make sure the hook does not compress or press over the child’s arm, since they would be wearing it for a long time; both during the day and the night.
Always put comfort-ability first.
Features: Depending on your reason for getting a fitness tracker for your kid. There are basic features in a typical kid fitness tracker; features such as calories counting, steps or mile counting; time display, sleep monitor, goals and motivating varieties.
The most important thing is to really understand what you want to achieve with the fitness tracker and get the one with the features geared towards your goal.
Power: Depending on the brand; some kids fitness tracker are powered by battery while some are rechargeable. The rechargeable fitness tracker takes about 7 days before running out of power for another recharge; while the battery powered fitness tracker would always have an average life span of 5 months before getting a replacement for the battery.
For kids fitness tracker; it’s advisable to get a battery powered fitness tracker; as you can focus on motivating your kids and doing more fitness activities rather than bearing the responsibility of charging the tracker every week.
Synchronization: It’s important that you get a fitness tracker that synchronizes with the official mobile app for easy data accessibility. Since the main aim of having fitness tracker on in the first instance is to acquire data and motivate kids; ensure the device works with the official apps and if possible good third party fitness app.
Get a fitness tracker that synchronizes with both android OS and IPhone OS, this will allow you to monitor your kids fitness progress on the go.
How to Use Kids Fitness Tracker:
Now that you’ve gotten a fitness tracker for your child; it’s important that you understand the usage in other to get the best value from the device.
The first step to using a fitness tracker for kids is to educate the child about the device. Tell them in simple term what the device does; why you think they would enjoy using the device and the benefits of using the fitness tracker.
Once the child is properly educated; then you can move on to the next stage of getting basal data from the device.
I am currently assuming that you’ve followed the guide that came with the device in setting up the app and online account as the case may be for the device you purchased.
For the first week of purchase; it’s ideal to have your child strap the device on and go about their regular activities without making any changes. After the first week of taking basal data; analyze the data and set a minimal goal based on normal routine.
Take for instance if your child normally takes 300 steps per day; you can set a goal of 350 or 400 steps for the second week; and progress accordingly.
Learn to review the data from time to time and make use of the data as appropriate. As a means of motivation for your kids; you can always compensate them with something they love doing when they meet a certain goal set on the app.
Kids Fitness Tracker Comparison Table:
|Name/Features||Garmin Vivofit Jr||FitBit Zip||Juboury||Garmin|
|Recommended Age||4-9 Years Old||12+||12+||12+|
|Amazon Link||Check On Amazon||Check On Amazon||Check On Amazon||Check On Amazon|
Our Recommended Kids Fitness Tracker:
Children aged 4 to 7: Garmin vivofit JR. – Digi Camo
Children Aged 5 to 13 Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker, Magenta
Children aged 14 and above: Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band – Blue