Oral Roberts University is now requiring all freshmen to wear tracking devices to monitor their physical activity, the school says.
While wearing Fitbit technology is a pioneer program, the university previously required students to manually log aerobics points into a fitness journal, it says.
“ORU offers one of the most unique educational approaches in the world by focusing on the Whole Person – mind, body and spirit,” a statement issued by ORU President William M. Wilson said. “The marriage of new technology with our physical fitness requirements is something that sets ORU apart. In fact, when we began this innovative program in the fall of 2015, we were the first university in the world to offer this unique approach to a fitness program.”
The school, which is a private institution, says Fitbit fitness tracking now is required for all incoming students, and ORU has opened the program up to all students.
A Fitbit device tracks a person's activity with GPS technology, including exercise, food, calories burned, weight, sleep and times those things occur.
According to the ORU website, it appears as though school staff and instructors will be able to access the fitness tracking information gathered by the students’ devices.
“The Fitbit trackers will feed into the D2L gradebook, automatically logging aerobics points,” the website says.
The school says more than 550 of the Fitbit devices (average price of $150) have been sold in the on-campus bookstore, with many more purchased through other retailers.
"Before this breakthrough on the campus in Tulsa, the University successfully integrated wearable technology in their online programs. The university inspired and encouraged all online students to track physical activity through wearable technology in the spring of 2014. This allowed them to save, plan and share progress,” the website says.
This year’s freshman class is the first required to use the fitness tracking devices.
The university reportedly has set a requirement for each freshman to log 10,000 steps per day.