The rate of growth of obesity and Type II diabetes amongst young children and teenagers is quite alarming. Blame it on the external influences of acquired eating habits of junk foods and beverages, reduced outdoor play time of children in metro’s and Tier I cities and/or increased indoor activities like TV viewing and mobiles phones and other gadgets, lifestyle diseases are not only restricted to adults but also impacting children as well.
The only planned exercise schedule children have is the fixed Physical Training (P.T.) period at schools either once or twice a week. With changing lifestyle trends, the P.T. period pedagogy needs to be redesigned to create more effective and positive impact on all children such that the habit of physical activity gets inculcated in the children from an early stage in life.
Khelfit, a fitness app, has introduced a fitness programme that is designed to create a more engaging, effective and fun model for students that can be monitored and parents can keep a track on their child’s daily performance.
Ganesh Remani, Founder of Khelfit and father of two, informs on the need for effective fitness programmes for children.
NB: What was the thought behind launching a fitness app for students?
Ganesh: Changing lifestyle, bad eating habits, reduced outdoor activities and the dependency on electronic gadgets have deteriorated a child’s overall development. India is the second largest in the world in child obesity and with an early onset of obesity it is likely to translate into a high cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease.
Schools engage students through the physical training period with various physical activities and also inculcate the elements of necessities of fitness. However, the challenges schools face is the importance that parents attribute to the Physical Training period in the competitive academic environment and hence the extent of focus from all stakeholders is on the downward spiral.
We would like to work with the schools in their efforts by bringing in structured and measurable exercise regime that improves the overall development of child with an element of fun for the child to get excited and interested. Further, our application allows to log various aspects of fitness which can help school to analyze and engage with the parents so as to take necessary corrective action.
NB: Is the student program an offline/online model?
Ganesh: We have both online and offline programs for students.
Our online program is a product subscription program that helps in assimilation of information and tracking progress that can enable fitness habit formation.
Our offline program for schools is where we execute our structured curriculum for various grades during school hours. Every student in the class participates in our program which is fun filled cluster of games arranged to meet a desired goal at the end of each session.
NB: How can parents keep a track of their child’s performance through this app?
Ganesh: Overweight/ Obesity is not a problem that happens overnight nor it can be resolved overnight. Hence, we have built an application where parents can log their child’s daily routine on 6 important parameters and monitor the progress of their child’s health. Khelfit is the handy tool that every parent will have during the growing years of their child.
NB: Schools normally offer post school hour programs like swimming and Gymnast for kids? How would you compete with them?
Ganesh: We are not looking at competing with post school programs as these programs do not cater to each and every student in the school. After school hour programs are voluntary based on the interest of the child which not all kids participate for a variety of reasons.
We have a philosophy of ‘No Kid left Behind’ policy. Our offline school program is offering structured program during school hours to all students across age groups which is fun oriented and independent of skill. Our program involves grade wise circuits (cluster of games) that engages every student to compete with self and has aspiration to be fit.