Heart Rate Data Empowers Teacher to Personalize PE Program so Students Maximize Motivation and Opportunities for Success

Using data collected from the IHT ZONE wrist heart rate monitors his students wear during class, Hudson High School PE (Iowa) teacher Sean Leonard will give students the freedom to personalize his curriculum during the next school year. Rather than participate in Leonard’s preselected daily activity during class, they’ll have the freedom to choose the activity that drives each of them to achieve their daily goals of time spent exercising at an elevated heart rate.

Lessons from an ‘Eye-Opening Experience’

  • Collect heart rate data regularly: Be consistent with the use of heart rate monitors. As students see the technology as part of their routine, the data will be a true reflection of the effort they give.

  • Offer a variety of activities to motivate students of all fitness levels: Heart rate data enables teachers to see exactly how each student performs in relation to their goal. Students will respond differently to each activity. Help students find activities that drive them to meet their daily goal.

  • Challenge students to do their best: The ZONE shows student and teacher in real time how hard the student is working. Each student has their own best,  regardless of how fast they run or how high they jump. Reinforce to the class that each student’s best effort is different.


Leonard introduced his students to the IHT ZONE monitors in January to collect daily heart rate session data. The data he’s collected has prompted him to rethink the way he approaches his PE curriculum. From what he has learned so far, he plans to test personalizing his class by letting students choose the fitness activities that motivate them the most. Read More

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Prior to analyzing student performance with heart rate monitors and IHT’s Spirit System assessment software, teachers could only make subjective assumptions about how hard each student worked during PE class. Students who appeared to be moving throughout class earned full credit while students who appeared to struggle often didn’t.

“The thing I have been so jazzed about is the sense of accomplishment that kids feel,” said Nancy Blake, a PE teacher at Goose Bay Elementary (Wasilla, Alaska). “Especially the kids who don’t always feel like they are the most successful ones in PE.” Read More

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Goose Bay PE teacher Nancy Blake introduced the IHT ZONE wrist heart rate monitor and Spirit System assessment software to her first and second-grade students at the beginning of the year. The early returns on her investment have surpassed her most optimistic expectations. Read More