Placed on – 22 February 2021

Using wearables to improve athletic performance

Using wearables to improve athletic performance

In sports, increasing the level of performance is essential for success. Stakeholders such as sports clubs, coaches, and athletes, are increasingly investing in technology to enhance their chances to win. One of the technologies that are gaining ground in this respect is wearable technology. Wearable solutions are starting to impact the sports world, both among professional and recreational athletes. In this blog, we discuss how wearables are used in sports. We also introduce a new technological development, the cloud-connected wearable.

To stay ahead of the competition, more and more athletes, teams, and coaches monitor and analyze biometric data. They use wearables to monitor performance, ensure safety and help identify the risks for injuries. The advantages of equipping a football team with wearables? Coaches can record and track the position of their players in real-time, in addition to their speed, metabolic load distance, and dynamic load. With this real-time data, they can work on their tactical game plan. Athletes and their coaches are increasingly using smart wearables to track performance, both during selection and training. Keeping track of their performance helps coaches make decisions based on real data. Sports clubs can use this information to predict results and minimize risks.

Ensuring the safety of athletes

Wearables can also contribute to athletes’ safety by, for example, monitoring heart rate, core body temperature and hydration. Under some circumstances, symptoms of dehydration can occur within 15 minutes. Sportspersons such as athletes, cyclists or football players can lose almost a third of their performance capacity when they are slightly dehydrated. In the worst case, dehydration can lead to heat injuries, which in turn can lead to disorientation, seizures, or permanent brain damage. Wearables can reduce or even prevent these risks. An example of such a solution is Nix’s biometric sensor that measures parameters in sweat such as moisture loss, electrolyte loss, current hydration status, and core body temperature. The solution provides athletes with information about the exact amount of fluid they should be drinking to avoid dehydration and heat injuries.

Reduce the risk of injuries

Wearable technology can help identify athletes at risk for injury and indicate when an athlete can safely start exercising again after an injury. In a sport such as figure skating, an athlete has to make many jumps during intensive training and competitions, whereby enormous forces are exerted on the body. With every jump, the body has to bear eight to fourteen times its body weight. It is not surprising that this impact often leads to injuries. Wearables can track the number of jumps a figure skater makes, the gravity, rotation, and other forces associated with this sport. By measuring these parameters, wearables can reduce the risk of injuries and over or underperformance. This biometric data helps coaches ensure athletes are developing strength and endurance while warning of possible injuries.

Cloud-connected wearables

Due to improvements in technology and IoT, wearables are becoming increasingly accurate and robust. A significant development is the introduction of the cloud-connected wearable. Instead of wearables that store data locally and incidentally, the cloud-connected wearable sends data directly and continuously to the cloud. Also, data transmission over long distances is possible with this new solution. The wearable transmits data to the cloud at all times and allows, for example, long-distance runners or swimmers, cyclists, and mountain bikers, or climbers to also benefit from continuous biometric tracking.

Evalan’s BACE Go is an example of a cloud-connected wearable solution. It can collect all kinds of biometric data, providing a clear picture of the wearer’s physical condition. Consider, for example, heart rate, weight, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, body temperature, hydration, or fall detection.

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