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Anna Pyrtherch

Hywel Dda University Health Board

Obese children grow into obese adults, with action needed to address health and well-being of individuals from an early age:

  • 80% of obese adolescents will still be obese in adulthood (M. Simmonds et al, 2016
  • WG and PHW predict that by 2050, the NHS will spend £465M/yr caring for obese people (Healthy Weight; Healthy Wales, 2019)
  • Lack of physical activity is a contributing factor to obesity, with only 14-17% of 11-16 year olds being active for more than 60 minutes a day (WG, 2019)
  • Lack of physical activity has a detrimental effect on mental health, with >10% of Ceredigion’s children experiencing stress, anxiety and depression (Ceredigion PSB, 2017), with these figures exacerbated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This project targets young children, primarily between 14 and 25 years old, with the intention of not only engaging activity in the static bikes, but also raising awareness of outdoor physical activity, its benefit and impact on wellbeing. The project is intended to be fun, whilst also addressing serious issues such as obesity, health, inactivity and environmentally friendly energy production.

The Project:

The project seeks to increase physical activity in young people by innovative incentivisation. The project will monitor use of power-generating bikes (hand and spin) at 4 locations in Ceredigion and take wellbeing measures on users to see if usage can be linked to wellbeing benefits.

Project Aims and Objectives:

  • Increased awareness of the importance of outdoor activity for young people, evidenced through:
    – min. 150 completed questionnaires
    –  attendance by 60 young at 4 consultation and engagement events
  • Installation of static “human powered” bikes at 3 locations in Ceredigion
  • Data collection evidencing use (frequency / time) and energy created by 20 project volunteers
  • Changes in wellbeing of 20 project volunteers over project duration
  • Press / media coverage of project, with a minimum of 4 articles published
  • Research results published in an end of project report
  • Research results presented in poster or paper format at a minimum of 2 conferences

Project Outcomes:

  • Over 300 young people engaged with (309 completed questionnaires).
  • 9 focus groups were held, with a total of 172 attendees.
  • Over 500 young people engaged with via schools / youth clubs and other youth organisations (target was 150).
  • 76 young people volunteered to participate in active research phase (target was 20).
  • 143 out of the 309 (46%) participants were female.
  • 129 out of 309 (42%) participants spoke Welsh.
  • 9 bikes installed in three sites (Cardigan, Lampeter and Aberaeron) in October 2022.
  • Bikes launched in November 2022 – January 2023.
  • Active research scheduled for January – June 2023.

Project Impact:

  • So far, despite delays in siting the bikes and launching the active research phase, a significant number of young people have been involved and the public health messages have been successfully debated at schools and in youth groups.
  • There has been a lot of interest in the project across Wales, particularly in light of the increasing prominence of climate change, the increase in cost of electricity / power and sustainable power generation.
  • The potential for other areas across Wales to install these bikes as a means to encourage outdoor physical activity is immense.
  • Young people have been very keen to get involved and enthusiastic to participate.
  • The health and wellbeing impact of undertaking outdoor physical activity needs further promoting, particularly to young people.

View the project poster and slides from the Cohort 7 Exemplar Showcase