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Smartphone Technology Helping Children Get Fit

Chesterbook Elementary opens outdoor fitness trail.

Chester the Chipmunk, the Chesterbrook Elementary School mascot, cuts the ribbon on the school’s new fitness trail Monday, March 26.

Chester the Chipmunk, the Chesterbrook Elementary School mascot, cuts the ribbon on the school’s new fitness trail Monday, March 26. Photo Contributed

We all know children love using technology, so why not use technology to show them the correct way to exercise? Chester the Chipmunk, the mascot of Chesterbrook Elementary School in McLean, was pleased to introduce the school's outdoor QR Fitness Trail Monday, March 26. QR stands for Quick Response, and it is the next-generation coding system that allows smartphones to quickly read data.

In this case, a quick scan takes you to a YouTube video demonstrating a particular exercise at a station along the fitness trail behind the school.

Each kid-friendly station along the trail lets you choose an upper-, middle- or lower-body exercise along the trail. The videos are about a minute long and demonstrate the exercise. Students can go at their own pace, and love the idea that they can see how a particular exercise is done.

The school has smartphone and tablet computers that the children can borrow during their P.E. time, and the school is working on a plan to allow students to bring in and use their own devices.

Before or after school hours, anyone can use the trail. Faculty and nearby community members appreciate the workout, and praise the technology and physical education departments that put the program in place. The trail signage, a gift from the sixth grade of 2010-2011, clearly shows what code to scan, depending on your type of device. You must have a QR code scanner to participate; most cell phone service providers allow for the download of free scanners.