The city has been selected to exclusively pilot the Better Health: Rewards scheme, designed to test whether offering rewards and incentives can help adults to eat better and increase their physical activity levels.
To get started, people aged 18 and over who live in Wolverhampton simply need to download the free Better Health: Rewards app, available from the AppStore or Google Play, and sync it to their fitness tracker. If they haven't got a tracker, they can claim one for free which will be delivered to their door.
The app will generate personalised health goals for every participant – such as increasing their step count or eating more fruit and vegetables. People will earn points and swap them for rewards to spend with major retailers like Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Argos or M&S, for passes to gyms and leisure centres including WV Active, or for money off fantastic family days out.
Among those who have already signed up is Mamta Sharda-Saini who said: "I'm going to use the app because it will help to keep a track on how well I am doing and I'll be getting some rewards when I reach key milestones. Better Health: Rewards will help to keep me focused on staying fit and healthy."
Gurbax Kaur, founder of Positive Participation, said: "I think the app is a fantastic idea to get everybody in the city fit and live a healthy lifestyle. As a practitioner of mental health services I can't think of a better way to improve the mental health, wellbeing and physical health of the residents of our city. I will be taking up the opportunity to download the app, get a free tracker and get moving."
Tariq Ali MBE, who runs youth sports clubs in the city, has also signed up. He said: "Being fit and healthy is something I'm really, really keen on. I feel I'm fit anyway, but I want to get even fitter and sort my diet out. I think that, if I'm doing it, I can encourage a lot of other people to do it too."
Maureen Dalton, aged 74, said she was motivated to sign up because she 'enjoys a challenge', Lorraine Lumley, 59, thinks it will be 'a great way to keep fit', Dan and Jasu Patel were motivated by health issues and a desire to feel healthier, while James Noott, 41, said he was inspired by the opportunity to earn vouchers to spend in local shops.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Hugh Porter MBE said: "Having something to aim for and a target helps people do more exercise, so this fitness tracker will stimulate interest for people."
Karen Brough said: “I have been looking for something to give me an incentive and this definitely could help.” And Bibi Galannakis added: "I think the app is making people more aware. If you are more aware, you have more knowledge and the better that is for you."
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Better Health: Rewards is all about giving you the motivation to make healthier life choices for yourselves, to move more and eat more healthily.
"We're not asking everyone to eat a salad, we're not asking everyone to run a marathon, we're not asking people to join a gym – all we're asking is for people to make small changes that can help themselves.
"The app will set you on a journey to better health and wellbeing. It will track your progress, generate personalised challenges for you to have a go at and, most importantly, give you rewards along the way."
She added: "If you haven't signed up yet, and you are over 18 and live in Wolverhampton, then there's still time to do so, because you have until the end of March to register. Remember, it’s free, and you can earn at least £40 worth of rewards. We’ll even send you a free fitness tracker if you need one."
For more information, please visit Better Health: Rewards.