Research shows that, on average, adults in Wolverhampton do less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week – and that has only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly among the most vulnerable who have had to shield over recent months.
The LGA invited councils to bid for funding for projects aimed at changing or sustaining behaviour which has arisen in communities as a result of the pandemic, such as reduced fitness levels.
The council secured £20,000 and, in partnership with Active Black Country, has commissioned behavioural insights organisation The Behaviouralist to deliver a 6 week programme of physical activity online. The programme, which will be open to residents who wish to become more active, is currently in development and more details will be released shortly.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Low physical activity levels put people at greater risk of being overweight and developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
"Although leaving the house during lockdown was permitted for exercise, Covid-19 has made it hard for many people to maintain their physical activity levels, particularly those who are vulnerable and have been shielding.
"This physical intervention programme will use behavioural science to change behaviours which have developed during the pandemic."
Ian Carey, Director of Active Black Country, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver a programme that genuinely supports residents in positively adapting their behaviour towards physical activity.
"Our aim, through Active Black Country, is quite simply to encourage people to be active and we hope through this approach to develop a programme in Wolverhampton that is scalable across the Black Country, reaching the most inactive residents.
"If we can change the way people think about and approach physical activity we will begin to see increased activity and wellbeing levels for all communities.”
For more information about the project, which forms part of the LGA’s Behavioural Insights programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.