A South Lakeland school was mounting a health and fitness drive in 1988 by harnessing new technology.

Cartmel Priory School was thought to be the first school in Cumbria to buy a new computerised health and fitness development.

The school had paid £4,500 for a room full of multi-gym equipment and computer gear that could monitor pupils’ fitness while they worked out.

Digital pulsometer watches could monitor pulse rates and computer software could give cardio-vascular and motor fitness read-outs.

Cartmel Priory head Frederick Hampson said: “The room will be used extensively during physical education and personal and social education lessons. There will also be fitness clubs at lunchtime and after school.

“The room is also open to the whole community and there will be a number of further education classes for adults.”

Mr Hampson said the theme of the room was to create a healthy and fit community within the Cartmel peninsular. Both Cartmel children and adults would be encouraged to map out more active lifestyles.

Cartmel Priory had already led the way on a number of physical education initiatives. “One of the things that we have done for a few years is that when we have sent reports out to parents about physical education, we have included the scores for particular skills like manual dexterity,” said Mr Hampson.

The school was one of the first to include a GCSE course on physical education in its curriculum. In 1988, 22 pupils from Cartmel took the exam.

A recent school meals healthy eating programme had also done "very well" at Cartmel Priory. And all the healthy activity was impressing school health visitors, too.

"When we have the health visitors come in, they usually make very favourable comments about the health of our children here. Now whether that is because they have to move around more in the countryside, I don't know.

"But I think that children are certainly more aware of the importance of health-related information and this has been shown to some extent by the way they responded to the healthy eating programme," said Mr Hampson.