Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Masters of Science in Computer Science


Computer Science

Major Advisor

Jerry Alan Fails, Ph.D.


Francesca Spezzano, Ph.D.


Maria Sole Pera, Ph.D.


Obesity in children has more than doubled in the last four decades. A variety of fitness technologies such as activity trackers, exergames, and mobile applications are available to promote physical activity, but few are designed adequately to meet children's specific needs. In my initial research, I found that children prefer having social interaction, a narrative, and flexibility while interacting with such technologies. Other research has shown that persuasive displays encouraged adults towards physical activity. As a part of this work, a collection of mobile applications, collectively known as KidFit Suite were developed. These applications encourage children to be physically active leveraging social and temporal aspects. I present findings from a user study conducted on 16 children (ages 6-11) who utilized the mobile applications in KidFit Suite. The applications are primarily evaluated on the spectrums of social engagement and temporal flexibility. In the study, children engaged with the mobile application and liked both the collaborative and competitive aspects of social interaction. In terms of temporal flexibility, they preferred short synchronous games better than longer asynchronous games.