ON YOUR BIKE - RURAL HEALTH AND CARE WALES
The intention of this project is to work with young people across Ceredigion by engaging with children and students to survey their opinion on having a variety of outdoor static “bikes” situated across Ceredigion that will charge mobile phones and which could also generate electricity for the national grid in the longer term.
The “On your Bike” project is based on the need to increase and mainstream physical activity in everyday life. It is likewise linked to environmental issues in that it generates clean energy from sustainable sources – human physical power. It is particularly aimed at young people and will provide a link between physical activity and the high level of engagement with mobile phones devices that is prevalent in young people today.
Supporting the use of these bikes for energy generation will be a campaign to raise awareness of the sites, which will also serve to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity and outdoor recreation. These benefits are not only on participants’ health, but also on well-being, both aspects of which will be measured during the research period.
Alongside the roll-out of the questionnaires, it is proposed that 3 focus group discussions are held across Ceredigion, whereby a minimum of 8 young people attend to discuss the proposed “On your Bike” project and explore possible challenges, opportunities and other issues that may impact its success. The proposal is to try to engage with young people attending youth clubs or other pre-established groups of young people in Ceredigion.
The results of this consultation will shape the project, from the initial identification as to whether there is sufficient demand for it to proceed to installation stage and the method that installation will take, i.e. number and types of bikes and their location.
It is important to again emphasise that these bikes will not be situated in traditional physical activity centres such as leisure centres or gyms, as their aim is to attract use by people who are not regular / traditional gym users, but who may be attracted to using them as a means to generate power for their mobile device, with an ancillary health benefit.
The powering of mobile phones is an innovative motivational tool that aims to encourage physical activity – doing something completely new to charge a phone but benefiting from the associated impact on the user’s health.
The project supported the installation of equipment in Aberaeron, Cardigan and Lampeter. The project specifically had an emphasis on the health and well-being of our young people and their involvement into how the project was developed has been integral. It is essential that we look for ways to develop different methods of improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, and we look forward to seeing the benefits of this innovative approach.
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.