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Fitbits help people living in RCT feel HAPI-er

The HAPI project in RCT borrowed Fitbits from Digital Communities Wales so that some of its clients could see how using technology improved their fitness.

HAPI (Healthy, Aspiring, Prosperous and Inclusive) is a health and wellbeing project for people living in Rhydyfelin, Hawthorn and Glyntaff. The HAPI team used technology to make getting fit more fun whilst helping people learn basic digital skills.

How

The HAPI project is a Big Lottery funded project hosted by Newydd Housing Association. Based at the Rhydyfelin hub, the team helps anyone who wants to make improved lifestyle choices. It offers workshops in food and nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity and sports, depression busting, stress management, digital inclusion, employment related training and much more.

The HAPI team approached Digital Communities Wales because it wanted to see whether technology could increase the impact and success of its work. DCW loaned HAPI five Fitbits for an eight-week project.

Five participants from Rhydfelin were given the Fitbits to use. They were shown how to use the device to set goals and monitor activity. As the weeks progressed, the group continued to meet fortnightly to track milestones and give each other mutual support.

Impact

Everyone who took part in the project found that using the Fitbits helped motivate them and made getting fitter more fun. They were able to track and compare their activity levels, which increased during the eight-week project. Meeting regularly to discuss results helped build friendships and a network of support amongst the five participants.

What’s more, using the Fitbit in conjunction with a smartphone helped everyone develop new digital skills and they developed confidence using a range of fitness apps to track and analyse their results and improve their lifestyle.

Andrea was one of the ladies who took part. She was relieved to discover to easy it was to use a Fitbit with her phone, and found she was checking her app after every walk to the kitchen! Since the project finished, she’s gone on to help other family members learn basic digital skills.