Why This School Banned Fitness Trackers
When the new school term begins in September at Stroud High School in Gloucestershire county, South West England, fitness trackers—including FitBits and smartwatches, as well as mobile phones—will be banned. According to officials at the girls’ school, the popular devices are having a detrimental effect on students’ mental health.
Officials expressed concerns about students’ obsessions with body image and a concept called “fear of missing out” or “FOMO” fueled by constant pressure to have fun and be included in social activities. They also found that students at the school skipped lunch if they did not meet calorie count and/or step goals—an unhealthy practice. In a survey conducted earlier this year, 71 percent of students reported checking or responding to social media "constantly."
In a letter to parents, assistant headteacher Nadine Moore cited research suggesting young people who spend more than two hours a day on social networking sites are more likely to experience mental health issues.