— Personnel tracking with RFID real time location tags allow researchers to study influences on children’s physical activity to encourage healthy lifestyles —
HONG KONG — September 1, 2015 — Today, Convergence Systems Limited (CSL), a global provider of passive RFID products and active RTLS equipment, announced that CSL real-time location system (RTLS) RFID technology is being used in a research offering the potential to improve children’s health and wellbeing.
Karen Tonge, a researcher with the Early Start Research Institute (ESRI) at the University of Wollongong, Australia, elicited the help of CSL for her unique PhD research project. The three-year study, begun in early 2014, examines the relationship between educator engagement and the physical activity levels of their preschool students.
To track the location of study participants and their proximity to each other throughout the day, children and educators wear CS3151 RTLS Wrist RFID Tags, that transmits positional data to wireless mesh network of CSL RTLS RFID Fixed Readers positioned in the area to triangulate the tag’s real-time movement. Additional data is collected with lightweight accelerometers worn on a belt around the waist to measure the amount and intensity of physical activity, and direct observations are recorded as well as educator surveys.
“This is the first time that RTLS monitoring has been used to study how educators are engaging and interacting with children to influence physical activity,” said Tonge. “The CSL RTLS system offers the accuracy, real-time performance and data collection capabilities that we needed for the project, all within our budget guidelines.”
Research has shown that educator engagement and interaction with children relates to better child outcomes for learning and development. To determine if a correlation exists between educators’ physical activity and that of their students, the study looks at where and when participants are most active, as well as what strategies educators use to promote physical activity.
The research study follows approximately 600 children ranging from 2-5 years of age and 100 educators working in Australia’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services across 15 preschools in New South Wales. To protect the privacy of participants, RTLS tags are identified by codes that are kept in a secure location.
“The CSL RTLS system adds a new dimension to research that is crucial for useful for documenting and promoting healthy lifestyles,” said Jerry Garrett, managing director, Convergence Systems Limited. “With an accuracy of +/- one meter, the CS3151 RTLS Wrist RFID Tag is ideal for real-time people tracking applications; such as children, the elderly, security guards and even animals.”