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Incentives help increase active travel at the University of Sheffield

Incentives help increase active travel at the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield’s Step Up programme encourages and rewards staff and students for walking, cycling and taking public transport instead of using the car. It was commissioned as a 12-month programme in 2019 and has been recommissioned each year since.

Since 2019…

  • 57% of activities replaced a car journey 
  • More than 285,000 kg of CO2 avoided – equivalent to not charging 34 million smartphones 
  • 94% of participants said they would take part again
  • Over a million activities were recorded.

Read the case study

What people are saying

Here is just a glimpse into Step Up’s impact at the university.

It helps me focus on better travel. It’s like getting a gold star from the teacher. 

Step Up made me put my wellies and waterproofs on instead of driving this week! It must be good for me…

I like the BetterPoints app because it really shows what the power of little and often is. It’s a great way to increase activity for people who don’t fit sporty stereotypes (eg older adults, differently abled adults, people who can’t afford gym memberships and expensive gear).

Being able to work towards rewards and goals is motivating. I am more likely to leave the house and go for a walk now.

It has motivated me to keep cycling to work, even in bad weather. It has saved me money and given me more exercise.

Until I got pregnant I would always walk to work, but I read research about the effect of air pollution on unborn children … I was concerned and started relying on the car instead. Step Up has encouraged me to take the tram instead, and once I have finished my maternity leave and returned to work I can see it will be useful to incentivise a return to walking to work everyday too.

It’s very motivating – I enjoy the rewards that points lead to, and it gives me motivation to walk/bus/run.

It has encouraged me to use public transport for my journeys to and from Sheffield and to walk to campus.

Good to see what I have done, and the CO2 savings etc.

I like that I can earn the points easily and it tracks automatically without having to open the app – and have the option to donate is nice.

A great motivator, it helps to tip the balance in favour of walking or cycling instead of taking short journeys in the car as they’re all opportunities to collect points. It is also an extra incentive to get out and be active every single day.

BetterPoints for universities

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