Using the BetterPoints app has made a big difference to Vanessa's activity levels, and therefore to her health and wellbeing.
We've been powering the 'Choose How You Move' programme in Leicestershire since May 2018 - residents are rewarded for travelling actively and sustainably around the area. The programme is funded by Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council.
BetterPoints can be earned for walking, cycling, car-sharing and public transport journeys, with bonuses being available for completing these activities ten times a week. So far over 700 people have completed 150,000 active and sustainable journeys covering almost 700,00 miles. They’ve burned over seven million calories and saved over 45,000 kg of CO2 in the process.
Vanessa, who lives in Market Harborough, suffers from a bad back and struggles with depression. She started using the BetterPoints app in October, around the same time she got a puppy, Raven.
'Before BetterPoints came along I wasn’t active at all and now I have 3 good walks a day with my puppy Raven. Every week it inspires me to be more physically active and I try to beat my personal best.
I've got a bad back and it feels so much better when I'm walking, even if later on I struggle. I also suffer with depression and anxiety. My depression has improved as I'm spending more time being active instead of moping about. Getting out on dog walks has really helped my anxiety too, people stop to talk about the dog which I'm finding easier every day to talk about her and interact with people rather than dread it.
Using the app makes me feel determined to keep moving. Other family members are using it daily, my mum uses it with me and I'm trying to convince my fiancé to download it too. I'm very competitive and always want to be better than I was yesterday, the rewards only make me more determined.'
Vanessa now uses her car much less often and active travel has become a new habit. 'I try, when it's practical, to leave the car at home more, unless I need to go food shopping - as I can’t carry everything I need on foot. Thanks BetterPoints for motivating me!'
Vanessa's story is just one of many illustrating how the BetterPoints platform motivates behaviour change. The system can be configured to reward a whole range of behaviours across the fields of sustainability, environment and health and wellbeing.