A girls school in the UK has banned FitBits and other gadgets over concerns that their students are skipping lunch if they fail to meet step and low calorie targets. Teachers fear that the trendy health monitors are having a bad effect on teenagers and are making them unhealthily obsessed with their body image. The gadgets will be outlawed together with smartwatches at Stroud High School, Gloucestershire, when the new term begins in September.
The 860-pupil academy is also cracking down on mobile phones use that will be drastically limited in a new protocol introduced as part of the school’s effort to tackle social media’s impact on young people’s mental health.
“There have been many reports about how excessive use of social media can have a negative impact on mental health, particularly for girls,” Cindi Pride, deputy headteacher at the school, was quoted as saying.
“We are also banning fitbits and smartwatches. These monitor the number of calories burned and we found that some girls would monitor the number of steps they had taken and the number of calories they had used. If they didn’t feel they had taken enough steps in the morning they wouldn’t eat lunch,” Pride ads.