Research Impact: According to mashable.com, the fitbit app was top in the apple store downloaded list for the 2015 Christmas (https://mashable.com/2015/12/28/fitbit-wins-christmas/?europe=true). There has since been a surge of interest in commercial physical activity tracking devices for promoting physical activity levels. Less explored have these commercial physical activity tracking devices been examined in the context of performance athletes. In this study, Kwok Ng and Tatiana Ryba (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) explored the data on dual career high school athletes (same age as senior cycle students) to see if these devices or apps were potential mediators between athletic identity and aspirations for professional sport. Athletes with physical activity trackers had stronger associations with professional aspirations than those without, however the association for usage of physical activity mobile phone apps was not statistically significant. The results suggest the need for more coach training and athlete awareness to optimize the use of commercial physical activity trackers. In addition, more work is needed to make apps better tailored for high school athletes.
More information about the study – Winning in the Long Run: Towards a Psychosocial Sustainability of Adolescent Dual Careers – can be found from ResearchGate – https://www.researchgate.net/project/Winning-in-the-Long-Run-Towards-a-Psychosocial-Sustainability-of-Adolescent-Dual-Careers
Ng & Ryba, T. 2018. “The Quantified Athlete: Associations of Wearables for High School Athletes,” Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 2018, Article ID 6317524, 8 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/6317524.