It’s official. Wearable fitness trackers such as the UA Band are permitted inside all Marine Corps facilities. Once banned due to security concerns, fitness trackers can now help Marines stationed in sensitive areas log their fitness stats in real-time as they work out.
What are Fitness Trackers?
Getting in shape means being constantly aware of your body and its responses to exercise. Fitness trackers are sleek, wearable devices that keep track of those responses in order to help you better understand your health and the success of your exercise routine.
Most of these devices can be worn on the wrist and connect to your smartphone or computer. They are also waterproof, allowing you to wear your tracker at all times, in all situations.
The data collected by fitness trackers varies from brand to brand. For example, Under Armour’s UA Band measures sleep, resting heart rate, and daily activity. When paired with other Under Armour products, it can even measure the intensity of your last workout. Other wearables offer GPS, Wi-Fi and virtual coaching.
The Marine Corps’ New Policy
Wearable devices that track a service member’s movements and health were banned by the Pentagon to protect military security. The Marine Corps’ new policy allows Marines worldwide to wear their fitness trackers in secure areas, even if those areas house classified or sensitive information.
But there are a few caveats. To enter a Marine Corps facility, fitness trackers must be
– commercially available in the United States
– designated as Federal Communication Commission Class B digital devices
– marketed for the purpose of tracking movement and sleep only
– designed to only receive Bluetooth and GPS signals, not emit them
Any wearables that include Wi-Fi, video or audio recording features remain banned. You also can’t download third party apps to go with your wearable. Only software and hardware provided by the original manufacturer (ex: Under Armour products to go with your UA Band) can be brought onto military property.
The U.S. Navy passed a similar policy in September 2015. Now sailors are actively encouraged to use wearables to improve their fitness and track their progress.