Oral Roberts University in Tulsa announced a new program requiring its incoming students to wear FitBits at the beginning of the semester in January.
The university said in a statement that the program is part of a physical education requirement for all incoming students.
"ORU has maintained a fitness component as a part of their unique Whole Person Education since the University opened in 1965," the statement said. Until this program was announced students were required to manually log their aerobics points in a fitness journal.
Despite the universities instance that the program has been set in place for convenience – wearable technology is easier than a written log – it recently caught the attention of the National Eating Disorders Association or NEDA. NEDA is saying that the program could be potentially dangerous.
NEDA is sponsoring a change.org petition saying that the FitBit requirement could lead to a slippery slope for those who already struggle with eating disorders. The petition, started by NEDA’s online community for young adults, says that the program “may inspire unhealthy competition, unhappiness and stress, and could even trigger disordered thoughts and behaviors.”
The Twitter community is also speaking out against the program with the hashtag DontTrackMe.
The general consensus among Twitter users getting involved is that the program is more dangerous to the health of their freshmen than it is helpful.
Buzzfeed News asked ORU for a comment but the university didn't respond to the request.
Lead Image Credit: @leaving_ana23 (twitter.com)