Science and Tech


This University Now Requires New Students To Wear Fitbits

Some students have a problem, but it's not because the school is collecting their personal information.
Posted at 4:19 PM, Feb 02, 2016

You've heard of the freshman 15. Now meet the freshman 900. 

Oral Roberts University, a religious school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has updated its mandatory fitness program this year. The change requires all 900 of its freshman students to purchase and use Fitbit trackers with heart rate-monitoring capabilites. (Video via Oral Roberts University)

The cost of the fitness tracker falls on the student, and a professor told The Washington Post so far that cost has been the only complaint from students. Fitbit's $150 Charge HR is the least-expensive option that fulfills the program's requirements. (Video via Fitbit)

The school also requires students to take an average of 10,000 steps each day and participate in at least 150 minutes of "intense activity" every week.

Sure, having to share step and heart rate data with a school feels a little odd — maybe even a little invasive. But Oral Roberts has actually been requiring students to report their exercise habits for a long time.

Students used to have to log a point-based value for any physical activity. At the end of the week, 30 to 50 points were required to get full credit. Not meeting the requirement could mean a lower grade in health and P.E. classes, which are part of the school's "whole person education" curriculum. (Video via Oral Roberts University)

One thing's for sure: When this university's students graduate, they'll be more than prepared for any corporate wellness program.