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The application of modern technologies in exercise

The world nowadays is dominated by modern technologies. In the areas of work, education, health or entertainment, we rely on devices that facilitate data processing and management as we need fast access to information and services.

The pandemic has facilitated life on line, which sometimes takes a preposterous form. Should we defend ourselves against it for this reason? Or maybe, it is better to adopt a common-sense approach? To do this, however, we need up-to-date knowledge and continuous education. The area of physical activity has also seen new solutions including multimedia devices which monitor our activity and record its progress or extent. However, we should remember the golden rule: exclusive gadgets cannot replace cooperation with a coach, teacher or professional exercise and fitness mentor. A device does not know our limitations and cannot take care of our safety. It can only be a supporting element which enhances motivation or records our workouts. So let’s use it wisely.

Fitness Assessment Platforms 

Sports coaches and physical education teachers collect empirical material and use platforms that allow them to process information on the significance of measuring and controlling physical fitness in different periods of human development. Well-chosen tests and their correct interpretation enable a realistic assessment of fitness levels and physical development. Such sources of scientific information exchanged with other fitness research centres in the country and abroad make a compendium of current knowledge on the development and physical fitness of the Polish population. In particular, it is possible thanks to the creation and expansion of such databases as fitness analysis platforms. Trainers, conducting observations of extensive and comparable empirical material in their environments, demonstrate an expanding discrepancy between the somatic and motor development of young people nowadays. Professional sources of information enable coaches and teachers to spot talented individuals and support their development. 

Monitoring devices

Physical activity monitoring allows you to estimate how well your daily or weekly physical activity matches the recommendations indicated for you. It can be done by means of various monitoring devices or activity sensors. The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines focus on physical activity as a tool for primary prevention and are based on the latest scientific evidence. It was the WHO that in June 2018 launched a global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030, which aims to reduce global physical inactivity by 30% by 2030. The development of electronic technologies has made it possible to individually monitor compliance with the action plan designed. Devices that check, monitor and also indirectly motivate lifestyle changes can be used for this purpose. Some people, while wearing a wristband or watch, glance at the number of steps made at the end of the day or take a walk when the device informs them that they have been sedentary for too long. In addition, monitoring devices usually offer the functions of heart rate, distance or speed measurements, heart rate monitoring, a calorie burn calculator, sleep depth analysis based on movement activity, synchronisation with the phone or Bluetooth connections with other devices. They also allow you to meet new people and create communities with users of the same device or system.


Easy-to-use software applications have emerged along with the development of monitoring devices. Such applications provide information about the time of running, cycling or walking, and measure other physical activities. They inform you about the speed of movement, the calories burnt and the distance covered, adjust the training rhythm and allow the music to be adjusted to your individual preferences. The data obtained in this way makes it possible to determine training effectiveness and improve the results achieved, sometimes also helping you to select an appropriate training plan taking into account the parameters entered. The apps offer a wide range of possibilities, from cardio training to complex sets of exercises. Diet planning and healthy eating applications are also gaining popularity. These apps may become databases of information about ourselves.

Live transmissions

In the era of lockdown restrictions, we could see an increase in live coverage from anywhere on the globe with the use of just a smartphone with a recording function. Thanks to this functionality, participants of regular organised classes could work out without leaving home while observing and listening to the trainer’s instructions. Online broadcasts make it possible to follow sporting events around the world. They are also used to share personal achievements and records, but also to motivate you to stay active. We all remember the so called ‘challenges’ which involved the performance of an exercise, often as part of a social support for a movement or a charity campaign.

Communication in sports teams

Apps for communication between trainers/coaches and players are being developed in sports team environments thanks to the sharing and analysis of health information (interpretation of fatigue signs and post-injury recovery, the status after a training or rehabilitation session, extra-training activity). This direction demonstrates the possibility of collaboration and the ongoing analysis of individual parameters, while at the same time it facilitates access to the parameters of a given training micro-cycle. Data collection enables the analysis of the training load and is employed in active communication between the coach and the athlete.

Modern technologies in a sport training process

Sport, which is a spectacle, involves achieving outstanding results. This, in turn, obliges the organisational and training staff to implement modern technologies that monitor the work of an athlete, such as Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS). Considering the welfare of athletes and the need to activate their maximum potential in the training process, data analysis systems for individuals and teams were developed. A sensor containing, among others, a processor, Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, accelerometer, gyroscope, radio transmitter or HR receiver is placed in a special pocket on the back of a waistcoat or other clothing item. The data collected by sensors is recorded and often transmitted live for ongoing observation. A summary of general information (e.g. time, distance, heart rate, number of accelerations and decelerations, metabolic power, muscular effort or energy expenditure), kinematics maps, graphical presentations of anaerobic effort or maximum performance are helpful in the planning and modification of the training plan. Interestingly, these systems also make it possible to predict situations that may cause an athlete’s potential injury. The technologies monitor the team but analyse individual players. They are used to observe work during training and competitions, track the fatigue process and spot training progress. With the multitude of analytical options, the system enables the monitoring of the players’ activity, but training decisions are made by trainers as they are the ones having specialist knowledge.

Systems in the training of persons with disabilities

Modern technologies support the training and rehabilitation process of people with mobility difficulties. Patients with interrupted nerve conduction who cannot participate in advanced training can be supported with electrical impulses. This technology is used increasingly to enhance the effectiveness of exercise and physical training, also in fitness clubs. Muscle electrostimulation is applied as a form of prevention and therapy in doctors’ offices, clinics and health care facilities. This training system allows athletes to return to training faster after an injury as it supports muscle recovery using an external stimulus. As a result of motor unit stimulation, the signal can penetrate the muscle, thus causing involuntary muscle contractions.

However, it should be remembered that the most important efforts are the ones performed by ourselves. Modern technology can only make the training process more attractive. It can also help you to work out in a conscious manner and understand the signals sent by your own body. For example, heart rate measurements can noticeably accelerate the workout effects. Working out within the appropriate heart rate range allows you to burn your fat tissue more effectively and supports endurance growth. Therefore, in order to apply the solutions proposed here, one should have the relevant knowledge and skills. Modern technologies serve as a means to pursue human interests and goals in sports activities. However, one should be aware that the personalisation of data in the device will not replace the diagnosis of a coach, all the more so in the case of problems with the musculoskeletal system or other conditions. Sport is seen as an arena for testing the human body’s performance potential and technological innovation activates the sport industry by stimulating it to be globally competitive.

Reference literature:

Berger, J., Ludwig, O., Becker, S., Backfisch, M., Kemmler, W., Fröhlich, M. (2020). Effects of an Impulse Frequency Dependent 10-Week Whole-body Electromyostimulation Training Program on Specific Sport Performance Parameters, Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 19, 271-281.

Bronikowski, M. (red.) (2015). Wychowanie fizyczne a nowoczesne technologie. Poznań: AWF Poznań

Lutz, J., Memmert, D., Raabe, D., Dornberger, R., Donath, L. (2019). Wearables for Integrative Performance and Tactic Analyses: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Directions. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(1), 59.

Web links:

World Health Organization 2018, GLOBAL ACTION PLAN ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 2018-2030 More active people for a healthier world. (access date 20 May 2021)

About the author

Iwona Janas, PhD - Staff member of the Jagiellonian University Medical College Physical Education Department in Kraków with a doctoral degree in Physical Culture Sciences. Coach of the KU AZS Women’s Basketball team of the Jagiellonian University Medical College Physical Education Department. She earned her PhD from the Department of Psychology at the University School of Physical Education in Kraków in 2021. Her interests include psychology of sporting activity, in particular decision-making processes, leadership in sports and supporting the development of professional athletes and coaches. She is a 2nd class basketball trainer and a fitness trainer as well as an active basketball player. In 2017 she received the bronze badge of the Polish Basketball Association. In the 2021 poll carried out by Gazeta Krakowska and Dziennik Polski she won the title of the Athlete of the Decade of the Wieliczka district in the Women’s category.