Clarkson University Associate Professor of Physical Therapy & Physician Assistant Studies Ali Boolani and Oklahoma State University Associate Professor of Physical Education Timothy Baghurst wanted to see how aspiring physical educators might change their physical activity levels when they know they're being monitored.
For this Oklahoma State University-based study, they got together a group of 36 physical education students and gave each one a monitor, telling them it would measure the amount of sunlight they received each day. Later, they gave them another monitor to count the number of steps they took each day.
The catch is both monitors actually measured how active the fitness advocates were. It turns out, the students failed to put their best foot forward. “This is a fascinating study and its implications are high for health care professionals,” says Boolani. “They should be modeling good health. This shows you, don't rely on an exercise monitor as your motivation.”