Observations from a Student on Technology in the University Gym
April 19, 2013 // Category: Fitness Community
When Darian Vidaure, an ambitious college student, contacted us about obtaining a full report of the global Fitness and Technology Survey for reference in a school project, we were happy to share our findings with him. In exchange, we asked if he would be willing to share his observations with us as well. His study points to the same trends we’ve been finding: technology has changed, and will continue to change, the way we workout and connect at the gym.
By Darien Vidaure.
When my professor announced at the beginning of the quarter that we needed to start thinking about a place we would like to perform a field study on I immediately knew where I was going to go. We had to choose a location that utilized technology in some way and observe its effect on that location throughout the quarter. Having spent plenty of time in my housing community’s gym I decided it would be a good place to perform my field study. From my previous visits to the gym I knew that many people there used various types of technologies during their workouts. I wanted to learn if there was any effect that technology had on a person’s workout, which I could then use not only for my class but also applied to my own workout habits.
Due to the gym’s location on campus in one of my school’s housing communities, the majority of the gym users were students. This added a unique dimension that isn’t commonly found in other facilities. One of the most interesting things I observed was that almost every gym user would bring their own technology. Usually it would be an mp3 player or iPod to listen to music, but there were some students who brought in their laptops. However, their reason for bringing a laptop to the gym wasn’t to listen to music but rather to play fitness videos like P90X and Insanity. I found this to be extremely interesting because I had always thought of fitness videos as something used only at one’s own home, but these students took the time to come to the gym to use them.
Another interesting observation was that very few students ever used the television inside of the gym. My theory on this lack of television use is that they were not placed in suitable locations in the gym. Rather than having them near the cardio machines they were located by the weightlifting stations. During weightlifting exercises gym members were usually too focused on their exercise to bother watching television (unless it was between sets). If the televisions were placed near the cardio machines, which don’t require as much focus, I believe they would be utilized much more.
There is still plenty of research that can be done in this field to understand exactly how technology affects workouts. My study wasn’t long enough to fully understand the complexities of whether technology positively or negatively affects workouts to conclude statistical evidence, but it still provided some interesting observations on the intersection of fitness and technology.
I would be interested to hear from gym owners or personal trainers reading this blog post. How are your members using technology in the gym? How have you seen it affect their results?