1st Edition

Wearable Technology in Elite Sport A Critical Examination

By John Toner Copyright 2024

    Wearable devices are being used by an increasing number of elite-level sports teams to manage and control the health, performance, and productivity of their athletes. Drawing upon a wide range of interdisciplinary resources, Wearable Technology in Elite Sport reveals how wearable devices are used to quantify athletic bodies in ways that have a number of undesirable consequences for the embodied subject. This book identifies some of the problematic consequences of excessive ‘dataveillance’ in sport by interrogating the process by which wearable data is produced, represented, and enacted in the governance of athletic behaviour.

    The book provides a set of conceptual resources for thinking critically about the powerful role played by measurement systems in shaping athletic embodiment. The themes that this book examines include an exploration of how technological devices serve an important disciplinary function in elite sport and how wearable-derived data might act to affect high-level athletes.

    The book is written in a lively and accessible style and appeals to a broad academic readership including undergraduate and postgraduate students in a range of fields including sports science, coaching, digital health, sociology, information studies, and science and technology studies.

    1. Elite sport and the cult of measurement

    2. Datafication and the cultivation of the neoliberal subject

    3. Producing data

    4. Exploring the representation and enactment of wearable data

    5. Sensing data: Navigating an algorithmic world

    6. The social and ethical implications of excessive datafication


    John Toner, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Performance in the Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of Hull, UK.