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In order to “fight against a sedentary lifestyle” and “promote physical exercise”, the distribution of connected watches has been organized in the colleges of Sarthe. However, they are not unanimous among parents.
Connected watches for college students
Sarthe is the first territory to set up this experiment, one of the key points of which is the distribution of connected watches to the 8,000 middle school students enrolled in sixth grade each year.
“We joined the discussions eight or nine months ago. We wondered how to give the student the means to practice daily physical activity, while taking into account the problem of 11-17 year olds, who suffer from a sedentary lifestyle. on a national level”told AFP Anthony Trifaut, president of the commission in charge of youth and colleges of the departmental council of Sarthe, who is collaborating on this project with the National Union of School and Secondary Sports (UNSS).
The experimental phase, which began last June, currently concerns seven of the department’s 75 colleges. It should end “during November” and then extend to all Sarthois establishments before the end of the year.
“We thought it was an innovative tool. It is in tune with the times. Young people need a challenge and to surpass themselves“, added Mr. Trifaut, stressing that the experiment is based on the voluntary participation of students and families.
According to François Perrignon de Troyes, president of the Federation of parents’ councils (FCPE) of Sarthe, the reception is more mixed within families. Aware of the public health issue, it is the device that questions and its “ultra connected” aspect.
“What is the contribution of this object? It’s a gadget”he estimated. “Okay, the objective is to give pleasure to children but we have never replaced teachers with software”.
“Children are more connectable than connected”
The departmental council, for its part, tempers: “it’s a tool that allows students to take control of themselves. Only they will have access to their data and will interpret it”reassures Mr. Trifaut, adding that only the data collected during group lessons could be analyzed.
“National Education has an application called + All in shape +. It is through this application, when the PE lessons will be given to the students of the program, that data will be transmitted to the application, anonymously and collectively.“, he explained.
“The watch is more connectable than connected. The student can connect it if he has his own smartphone and wishes to do so. He can wear it when he wishes: day, night or take it off for a week if he wants it”specifies the elected official.
In Sarthe, a department with the “Terre de jeux 2024” label, a distinction awarded to territories promoting sports activity, this project is part of a vast program entitled “sports health”, launched by the departmental UNSS in collaboration with the National Education.
The National Health and Food Safety Agency (handles) had alerted at the end of 2021 to the inactivity and sedentary lifestyle of young people. According to her, 66% of 11-17 year olds face “a worrying health risk characterized by the simultaneous exceeding of two health thresholds: more than 2 hours of screen time and less than 60 minutes of physical activity per day“.
Contacted, the academic management and the establishments concerned did not wish to comment on this program. A consultation is currently underway with the National Commission for Computing and Liberties (CNIL) to verify the conformity of the project.