An app which has been developed to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle will offer incentives such as shopping vouchers, theme park tickets and cinema tickets to people who eat healthier and exercise more.
Wolverhampton will be the first to test the new scheme with participants wearing a wrist device which will generate personalised health recommendations such as upping their daily steps and incorporating more fruit and vegetables into their diet.
The app users will collect points throughout the day for healthy behaviours which they will then be able to exchange for vouchers and other incentives.
The new scheme will aim to tackle the rising obesity numbers in the UK with two thirds of adults in England living with excessive weight or obesity, currently costing the NHS around £6 billion a year.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said: “This pilot is an exciting opportunity to see how we can empower people to make healthy changes to their lifestyle and I would encourage all adults in Wolverhampton to come forward and register their interest.
“Taking part will help us better understand how rewards can help motivate people to make small adjustments to their daily lives that will have a lasting positive impact on their health.
“I want to make it easier for people to make healthy choices and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities is driving forward our levelling up agenda for health across the country.”
The city of Wolverhampton was selected to trial the app to support its current ongoing work in encouraging its residents to uptake a healthier way of living. The pilot will begin early 2022 and will run for six months.
Councillor Ian Brookfield, the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “We are working hard to improve the overall health of everyone in Wolverhampton by providing innovative solutions which can help our residents get more active.
“We are already making significant progress in tackling physical inactivity, improving infrastructure, and making environmental changes to enable people to be more active, and we are delighted to be working with the Department for Health and Social Care and HeadUp on this important pilot programme to see whether offering incentives can help people make positive changes to improve their health and wellbeing.
The Health Incentives Scheme will form part of the £100 million support grant given by the government to help support those living with obesity achieve a healthier lifestyle.