About The Work It Off! Application

The Purpose:


 

The purpose of this application is to teach children the correlation between the calories they eat and the calories they burn.

Overview:


Our interactive phone application teaches and encourages kids to eat healthy and exercise in an engaging manner that will keep them entertained and therefore, continuing to use our application in their daily lives.

Eating healthy and exercising is rewarded with a points system that wins them virtual avatars, they can also compare their scores online with those of their friends which can help motivate them to continue using the application and continue getting healthier.

Creation


This application was made using App Inventor, which is a Google Beta program that is geared towards promoting computer science to people with no prior computer science experience (i.e. high school students and below) in an effort to ultimately increase the number of computer scientists or at least the percentage of college enrollment.

We are working with HFOSS (Humanitarian Free and Open Source) this summer to help facilitate this goal using App Inventor.

Our Vision:


We believe that this application is beneficial to people of any age group. Not only does it teach you the correlation between the calories you eat and the calories you burn, but it is also fun to use and interactive because you can go right from the phone to the treadmill. We hope that this application can become a staple on everyone's phone that will not only give them nutritional information, but tell them how they can work off the calories they just ate and reward them for their efforts. Kids love winning virtual rewards as games like "Farmville" demonstrate. We think the fact that they can also compare their points with their friends will motivate them to use the application even more as some healthy competition is fostered.

Now, our current application is a prototype because we don't currently have the resources to expand our application to the extent of our imagination, but here is what we will do with the application if we win and gain resources for future development:

  • We will enhance the rewards so that they are connected with another popular virtual world that is already popular, like Farmville on Facebook.
  • We will enhance our sign in capabilities and ultimately have various screens that will make the interface as clear and concise as possible.
  • We will improve our food database so that it not only contains the USDA calorie values, but also tells them the portion size and determines how healthy the food is based on the combined factors of caloric intake, saturated fat, carbs and otherwise.
  • We will enhance our user database to keep a running log of what the user eats for the entire week. Therefore, the program can compute healthier choices for them based on    their previous answers. For example, if they log their food by saying "hamburger." The phone can check the log and say, "But, you had a hamburger yesterday."
  • We will add a barcode reader feature so that users can scan food at the grocery store or otherwise in order to determine whether or not it is a healthy choice.

Other Important Information:


Users and spectators may view the users' scores online. This feature is especially for kids to check and compare their scores with their friends, which makes healthy eating and exercising fun!

Visit: http://healthyscores.appspot.com

**The calorie information was obtained from the USDA database, located at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Innovations/DataSource.htm

**You can find our food database at http://healthykidswinrewards.appspot.com/