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Bus stop in Boon Lay allows residents to exercise to charge their phones

Participants will have to be residents of Boon Lay to take part in "Recharge".

Bus stop in Boon Lay allows residents to exercise to charge their phones

A bus stop in Boon Lay allows residents to charge their phone while exercising. (Photo: Instagram/Desmond Lee)

SINGAPORE: A bus stop in Boon Lay has been transformed into Singapore's first bus stop-gym.

Called "Recharge", the prototype will allow commuters to exercise and charge their mobile phones while waiting for their bus.

"This is a simple but meaningful initiative to get our residents to carry out simple exercises and charge their handphones while waiting for the bus," Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said in an Instagram post on Wednesday (Nov 23).

The project is a collaboration between Singapore University of Technology and Design's (SUTD) SOULab, Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Ministry of Health Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT), he said.

Located at 200 Boon Lay Drive, this is a two week trial starting from Nov 21 to Dec 5, said Mr Lee, adding that vouchers will be rewarded to people who hit 150 minutes of exercise time a week. 

In response to queries from CNA, STUD said that S$30 NTUC vouchers will be given to participants who achieve more than 150 minutes of exercise time a week.

It added "NTUC" vouchers will also be given to eligible participants who sign up. 

Recharge is currently open only to residents of Boon Lay.

ABOUT PROJECT RECHARGE

A research collaboration between SUTD, MOHT and Boon Lay grassroots found that the three main causes of inactivity are due to a lack of time, the perception that exercise is difficult and the unwillingness of people to go out of their way to exercise.

In addition, SUTD's SOULab stated on its website that a study conducted by Fonterra found that 63 per cent of Singaporeans do not exercise more than three times a week, making Singaporeans the most inactive in Southeast Asia.

However, 7 in 10 wished they had more time to exercise, it added.

Hence, through Project Recharge, SUTD's SOULab hopes to find out how urban design and the introduction of game mechanics into nongame environments encourage health awareness and active living; how participants participate in self-monitoring of their health and how data collected contributes to recognisable health patterns. 

"Using data analytics, gamification techniques, and innovative urban design strategies, Recharge is a prototype that leverages existing waiting spaces by transforming them into opportunities for physical activities by bringing fitness stations to them," it said.

Project Recharge conducted community engagement sessions with the residents of Boon Lay. (Photo: Project Recharge)

Recharge first conducted engagement sessions with Boon Lay residents to understand their perception towards physical activity, healthy eating and rest. 

The SUTD team then developed 16 recommendations, among which the bus stop-gym was ranked as a top choice by the Boon Lay community and assessed to yield high implementation potential.

Individuals who meet the following criteria can participate in this research

  • 18-75 years old 
  • Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents
  • Healthy adults
  • Residents of Boon Lay 

Selected users will be issued a Bluetooth card to tap on the podium when they start to exercise. This card can track their activity and coins accumulated. 

Source: CNA/st(rj)
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