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Sports Fitness in the Technological Field

Introduction
Technological advances can be seen across the world. Just over twenty years ago, PC’s were not even in homes. With technology’s advancements, cellular phones, tablets, laptops, and even watches are considered small computers. When it pertains to health, technology has affected the industry in ways that seemed unimaginable, especially in fitness. Using Aristotle’s virtue claim, we will discuss how technology has positively impacted fitness in three sub topics:  exercise, protection, and recovery.
Exercise
Technology has drastically changed the landscape when it pertains to exercising the body. Before we had software trackers on mobile devices, people would rely on different things to track exactly how much they have worked out such as stopwatches.  Even some of the stopwatches weren’t as precise as the devices today. For example, if someone were to run laps around a park, they would more than likely rely on signs that display the distance of a lap. But if one were to run 5 3/43 miles, it would be really difficult for one to exactly know how much they ran at that moment. As time progressed, machines such as the treadmill were developed. Nowadays, programmers have come together with fitness experts in order to create applications that can easily track exactly how much exercise the user is performing. With today’s technology, the exact amount of miles that people run can be tracked through cellular phones, wristbands, and even watches.
With the ability to find out exactly how much people can move around and exercise, it’s important to do so while making sure that the programmers of these companies use good morals. Parallel to many companies around the world, then number 1 goal is to make as much money as possible.  To accomplish this goal, some companies are willing to do whatever it takes, even if that includes harming the customers. In the fitness industry, there are many “contraptions” that supposedly make you nearly instantly lose weight if you use this brand’s machine. This and other negatively used tactics go against the virtue claim that Aristotle explains. The two main characteristics within his claim include character and community. In order to make the community better, we must try to make sure that we are not we are not gaining material items at the expense of damaging other people, which damages the community overall.
Positive advancements are trying to be made when it pertains to the United States.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33% of adults are considered obese. “The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S was $147 billion in the US dollars”. What is being done to reduce this number? In addition to lower priced gyms, efforts from the Food and Drug Administration, and companies raising awareness about health diseases, technology is being created to encourage more activity targeting people who are overweight. One technology is commonly used is called the gastric bypass surgery. In this surgery, a  portion of the top part of the stomach is sectioned off. As food moves outside of the top par of the stomach, it “bypasses ” the bottom part, and connects to the lower part of the small intestine. The after effects of the surgery do work. However, if exercise is not implemented into the person’s daily activities, they will only re-gain that weight.  Being overweight tends to be more than just a physical issue amongst people. Sometimes, getting lack of exercise can stem from mental blocks as well. A lot of the times, people say that they are too busy in their daily lives, or that they’ve tried to do it before, but they failed. For these reasons, people in the US fail to exercise as much as they should. Developers and sports psychologist have recognized this problem. Programmers have since created apps that allow interaction between people and trainers that can motivate them daily. One example of such an app is Fitmo. Fitmo is an app that connects you with a trainer sets up a schedule, suggest meal plans, and checks up on you through texts and calls. In order to keep people from lying to their trainers, the app connects to wearable fitness technology to track how much one exercises. Applications such as these allow people stay motivated, making them feel like they are not alone in their struggle of exercising consistently.
Around the world, people use different regiments in order to keep people exercising. In Brazil, the exercise of Capoeira is used.  This is an exercise with a mix of martial arts and dance. In Japan, there are warm up stretches that schools, companies, and even capable elderly do called Radio Tasio.  This stretch is done through radio airwaves and it is performed at a set time each workday. This activity is used to unite people and promote good health. Even in China, people are walking backwards in order to improve their posture and use muscles that aren’t used on the regular. The treadmill is one of the main machines that the Chinese use to perform this activity.
Protection
Protection of the body is so important when it comes to fitness. Every year, there are stories of athletes passing away for various reasons. Whether the cause is dehydration,  or a serious unknown internal injury, protection will never be perfected, but it must continue to be improved. According to Stanford Children’s Health, approximately 3.5 million injuries occur each year. There are always stories about people getting injured due to violent physical sports such as football or rugby. What can technology do about it? Well, much technology is being developed to prevent injuries from happening.
Companies that aid in following Aristotle’s virtue reasoning tend to benefit in multiple ways. Companies are being innovative and producing items that can really aid in the prevention of injury. This benefits all of us as a society.
In the United States, American football is the most popular sport. With football being such a physical activity, concussions reduction is taking precedence as the main focus for football athletes. More protective headwear is a theme that is constantly looked at in world of football. A company by the name of Riddell creates football helmets. With the ever-growing concern of concussions, Riddell has added both an attachment system and extra protection for the sides of the helmet in order  for impact to be reduced when a player is hit in the head.  In addition to football, other companies are innovating headwear that can be worn in multiple sports. For soccer, basketball, and any other sport in which athletes wear headbands, there is a company called force field. Force Field has created headbands. A little larger than the average headband, these headbands contain a polymeric layer that wraps around the head to increase protection in crucial areas of the head that headbands can cover.  The best way to prevent a concussion is simply wear sports equipment properly, and make sure that the equipment fits and is worn correctly.
Concussions are not the only injuries that occur. The three most common injuries are the ankle sprain, the groin pull, and the hamstring strain. The best natural way to prevent these injuries from occurring is by stretching before and after activity. While technology is not quite there yet when it pertains to complete prevention of these specific injuries, there are technologies that are used to help prevent serious injury. Ankle braces nowadays use polymeric layers to absorb energy between the joints and the braces. This absorption allows for less wear and tear on the ankle in the long run.  In addition to ankle braces,
Around the globe, sports groups are using technology that can trace if players are overworking themselves. One example of  such is a company by the name of Catapult. This Australian company works with over 350 professional and collegiate players. They have created a gadget half the size of a cellular that can measure heart rates, distance traveled, player load, and acceleration. Their goal is to have the ability to measure a player’s fatigue so that injury can be prevented. Prevention is something that if improved upon technologically wise, a lot less injuries can be prevented in the future.
Recovery
Once an injury occurs to anyone, the next step in fully healing is recovery. The two main important things that the health industry must be great at is prevention and recovery.  Recovery is extremely vital because if it is not done properly, the body may not heal the way it’s supposed to, or may not even completely heal at all.
Technology being used as a recovery can have an effect ethically in both a positive and negative light. In some instances, it is abused. For example, steroids are drugs that most people take in order to gain a competitive advantage. While it does make a person stronger, faster, and a better overall performer in the short run, it violates the virtue rule. Taking steroids is wrong because it puts all of the other people that naturally strengthen their body (through use of weights and dieting) at a disadvantage. In addition to the disadvantage, it is also wrong because it is banned from most sports.  This is when the right vs. wrong judgment is violated. While athletes do have the choice of whether or not to take steroids, companies that give it to people that are knowingly misusing the drug are also in the wrong. Pills can be addicting and bodily damaging if misused, therefore selling those pills to unethical people just to gain profit violates the virtue reasoning as well. With that being said, there are also positives in using technology for recovery. This will be explained in the next paragraph.
Recovery in the US has drastically improved over the past 30 years. Before , recovery was done mostly done by icing joints, taking pain pills and resting. In today’s world, through x-ray and ultra sound, an exact diagnosis of an injury can be spotted within minutes. Right after the diagnosis, recovery treatment can begin. Through therapy, many tools used right here in the US ensure that people are healed properly and to the fullest extent. For sprains, knee aches, or tennis elbow, one emerging treatment by the name of theralase is used to make a faster recovery. Theralase is a laser and infrared treatment in which the body absorbs the laser light, and transforms it into chemical therapy. This treatment helps because the chemical energy received is used to jump-start the healing of tissue in the wounded area. This treatment also decreases the amount of inflammation because of the extra cells given through infrared. For more serious injuries, such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), stem cell research is being done to reduce recovery time by months. While this specific process is still in it’s final stages before being released to the public, MRI’s are being constantly done to ensure this process heals ligaments completely.
Around the world, recovery is similar to the ones of the past for most people. With that being said, there is still technology that is emerging that will benefit people around the world. In Europe, a professional soccer team by the name Manchester City uses GPS monitors during practices and training sessions. This device measures performance levels, and heart rate. This helps the team customize workouts that can benefit their athletes the most without over working them. In the United Kingdom,  company named BAE Systems has teamed up with the Paralympic Games. In addition to giving athletes training and recovery tips, BAE also created wheels for wheelchair competitors that improve the acceleration of the wheelchair by 20%. Technology is even being implemented for non-athletes. Heart –rate monitors are being sold globally to aid with people that have irregular heartbeats. During exercise, it’s easy to get caught up and be less aware of one’s heart rate. With heart-rate monitor’s, a small alarm is sent out warning the person when they are beginning to exercise too hard. This invention prevents overuse of the body, and aids with the recovery after exercise.  This and other inventions have helped the people of the world recover in a quick and effective manner.
In conclusion, technology has positively affected health in three categories: exercise, prevention, and recovery. Through the advancement and development in technology, more and more technology is being used in sports. With many innovations being added to the market, we as a society will learn more and more about how our bodies work. With the new technology, we will be able to make sports as safe and clean as we can without truly interfering with the sport. As long as people invent products keeping Aristotle’s point of reasoning in mind, the world will be a better place.
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