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Your Workout Wear Is the Next New Wearable

Sensors embedded in fabric can measure heart rate and more.

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Wearable technology

Your clothing may soon be able to monitor your heart rate, respiration, temperature and even movement. Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers in Boston have developed customizable, washable activewear, similar to compression shirts, complete with sensors. “We can have any commercially available electronic parts or custom lab-made electronics embedded within the textiles that we wear every day, creating comfortable garments,” said Canan Dagdeviren, PhD, assistant professor of media arts and sciences at MIT. “Our main goal was to measure the physical activity of the body in terms of temperature, respiration, acceleration, all from the same body part, without requiring any fixture or tape.”

The research was published in npj Flexible Electronics (2020; doi:10.1038/s41528-020-0068-y).

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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