A new app which will offer incentives such as vouchers for shops, gym discounts and cinema tickets for people who eat healthily and exercise more has been launched in Wolverhampton.
The government-backed trial – the first of its kind in England – will see participants given free fitness trackers which will be linked to the Better Health: Rewards app.
The free app will generate personalised health goals for every participant – such as increasing their step count or eating more fruit and vegetables – in line with the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines and the Eatwell Guide for a healthy balanced diet.
Over 20 weeks, participants will collect points for each goal they complete, which they can exchange for rewards including discounts for cinema tickets, and clothes or food vouchers.
The government has made £3 million available for incentives, if users meet weekly challenges and improve their diet and physical activity behaviours. The app includes budget-friendly tips that support users to develop healthier habits, and challenges have been designed to be completed anywhere, no gym required.
National supermarkets including Sainsburys, ALDI, Morrisons, Tesco and Asda will be participating in the scheme so users can earn money off their food shop. Hundreds of other rewards are also on offer, including vouchers and merchandise from retailers including Amazon, Argos, Primark, M&S, John Lewis and Currys.
Gyms and leisure centres across Wolverhampton including PureGym, Places Leisure, Complexions and WV Active are offering vouchers and discounts, and users can also swap points for cinema tickets or family activities.
Adults aged over 18 who live in Wolverhampton can sign up by downloading the Better Health: Rewards app via their app store, or they can search wolverhampton.gov.uk/rewards to find out more.
Addressing obesity and poor diet remains a priority for this government and alongside the Better Health: Rewards pilot we are delivering an ambitious programme of work to create a healthier environment for people.
It is estimated that obesity costs the NHS £6.5 billion annually. Tackling this serious health problem could save the NHS billions over time, ensuring vital funds are spent on key frontline services and cutting waiting lists, as well as improving the quality of life for millions of people.
In November 2022, the government announced £20 million funding to trial how best to deliver new medicines and technologies for people living with obesity, particularly in deprived communities across the UK.