Using a mobile app with IHT ZONE heart rate monitors allows schools to expand opportunities for students to maximize the benefits they get from a physical education program.

The IHT Spirit Mobile App lets students control their IHT ZONE heart rate monitors from their own phones or tablets, giving them the ability to exercise – and meet goals for minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) – when it best fits their schedule. Students can use the combination of resources in:

  • Online PE Classes
  • Independent Study Classes
  • Make-up Classes
IHT Spirit Mobile App“This is learning in the 21st century,” Carlye Satterwhite, who built an online PE program at the Des Moines Public Schools several years ago, said. “We have to provide students with access to education that is meaningful and vigorous. We are legitimately teaching PE from home and it is able to be implemented with fidelity. It’s not simply fill in the activity log and move on.”

Helping PE Survive COVID’s Remote Learning

The Des Moines program served students – and teachers – well through COVID-19’s remote learning phase. Students received IHT ZONE heart rate monitors from school and installed the IHT Spirit Mobile App on either their mobile phones or school tablets (iPads or Chromebooks).

When students exercised wearing the heart rate monitors, teachers received the same data that they’d receive if the students were using the technology in the traditional classroom setting. The data allows teachers to fairly assess student performance and continue to do their part to reinforce healthy habits and lifestyle choices.

“You must have the data to prove that students are getting the physical activity part of class done,” Des Moines teacher Amy Barsness said. “The heart rate monitors make it all credible.”

Keeping Students Connected to Teachers

After struggling to keep students engaged when they first shifted to at-home learning, Charles City High School (Iowa) teacher Steve Stallsmith turned to the IHT Spirit Mobile App and sent IHT ZONE heart rate monitors home with students to use.

“We just couldn’t make the students do the assignments (at the beginning of at-home learning),” he said.

Before the start of the new school year, as at-home learning continued, Stallsmith configured his inventory of IHT ZONE monitors for at-home use and gave each student a monitor and a charger. When school began, he set expectations that students needed to be active and gave them the freedom to complete their assignments on their own time. Knowing he’d be notified when workouts were completed kept students on-task and active.

“The accountability factor is the big decider,” Stallsmith said about sending heart rate monitors home. “A kid could say ‘I went and shot baskets at the YMCA for an hour.’ I believe that he did, but just like I’m accountable to my department head and administration, I need for students to show that accountability to me.”

Stallsmith reinforced that accountability in two ways. First, students acknowledged their assignments via a Google Doc. Second, he read the heart rate reports that the mobile app delivered following each student’s completed workout and talked with students about it.

“The reports are integral to what I’m doing,” he said. “Kids ask me how I know what I know. ‘Well, I get your emails.’ That allows much better, much more real conversations. It surprises the students that we have this data, and that’s a good thing. It starts the real conversations we need to have with kids.”

Using the Mobile App in On-Campus Programs

IHT Spirit Mobile App

Mike Bradley working with colleagues explaining IHT's technology.

Schools used the IHT Spirit Mobile App before finding it particularly useful during the pandemic. Some teachers use it to help students perform make-up assignments.

In Riverton, Wyo., Mike Bradley uses a set of heart rate monitors for students who have missed his class. Bradley’s plan also works when PE opportunities are lost due to special school schedules such as pep rallies or standardized test days.

“Think about it,” he said. “If a student misses PE once, he’s missed out on 20 percent of his exercise time at school that week. Now, you can send a monitor home and have them do with work through the app. If for no other reason, that’s one day a kid didn’t take off from being active. I don’t want them to give up a workout day.”

Others use it as part of independent study PE programs that enable students to free up more time during their school day to take classes they may need for college credit.

At the Simon Youth Coast High School Academy in Huntington Beach, Calif., Darla Merrill introduced the IHT ZONE monitors in a program that gives students the freedom to exercise when it best suits their schedule. She met with students once each week but stipulated that they try to exercise every day while  wearing their IHT ZONE and using the mobile app.

“Health and wellness benefits are only achieved when the students participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity,” she said. “We want them to get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day.”

As Stallsmith found, the data provided to Merrill – and the student – through the mobile app showed that students met her challenge.

“They’re empowered and more confident,” she said. “It’s each kid on each kids’ individual time, just very individualized. The goal is 30 minutes out of a 50-minute period of time in the yellow and red and I’m having more and more students be able to achieve that.”

Boost Student Wellness with the IHT ZONE heart rate monitor:


    Email Address

    Contact Number + Optional Phone Extension

    Select Your State or Country


    Describe Your Interest (Please choose one)

    Get Started with a Quote

    Teachers Use IHT ZONE Monitors, IHT Spirit Mobile App to Give Students More Freedom to Meet PE Goals
    Article Name
    Teachers Use IHT ZONE Monitors, IHT Spirit Mobile App to Give Students More Freedom to Meet PE Goals
    IHT’s Combination of Heart Rate Monitor and Mobile App Keep Students and Teachers Connected in Off-Campus PE Classes
    Publisher Name
    Interactive Health Technologies, LLC
    Publisher Logo