Shape Up!

Jamal Williams develops KIDFIT app to combat childhood obesity

In February, when First Lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” campaign to help end childhood obesity, Jamal Williams, 23, was knee-deep in creating his KIDFIT application (available in the iTunes store; $1.99) in hopes of doing the same. The app, which works on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices, features more than 150 different exercises for children, with an emphasis on strength training, conditioning, coordination, and flexibility. Additionally, parental controls ensure that children are properly monitored.

Williams says the inspiration for the program came from everyday observations and personal experience: “I live near three elementary schools; in D.C., if one of every three kids is obese, and they have P.E. [physical education], then something is not working. I wanted to figure out innovative ways to bring fitness to kids.”

Before creating KIDFIT, Williams first searched the iTunes store, where he says he found “absolutely no child fitness app.” Further, he says, “Nobody liked the idea [for KIDFIT] when I first started.” Currently, the KIDFIT application is selling at the rate of 15 to 20 per day, says Williams, and he expects revenues of $65,000 by year-end. Williams worked with Apollo Matrix to develop the KIDFIT source code, which he owns.

A Howard University graduate with a degree in physical therapy, Williams is also founder of Washington, D.C.-based Personal Training Solutions, which provides personal training and education to private clients and groups. He is working with the principals of three local elementary schools to get the KIDFIT program implemented. “We do recognize that not everyone can afford an iPhone or an iPod touch, so we are looking for ways to get the schools equipped through various media, preferably, the iPad. As of now, the application can be run on the Apple platform and can be easily streamed to a TV with a single cord,” he notes.

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