CityMoves is a large, participatory research project that was set-up by Connected Health Cities (CHC) to encourage citizens from across the North to increase their activity levels, adopt healthier lifestyles and create valuable data for new research.
Delivered as a partnership between CHC and telecommunications company Nokia, the challenge is open to everyone living in the North. Participants can sign-up anytime before the 21st December and all you need to take part is a smartphone.
By downloading the Nokia HealthMate app it’s easy to track your daily and weekly steps and see how your weekly progress compares to that of others across Yorkshire.
Participants can also measure their heart rate by using HealthMate’s in-app heart rate recorder and get hints and tips to help lead a healthier lifestyle. As an added incentive CHC are also offering hundreds of Nokia wearable devices as prizes.
All the data generated by CityMoves will be anonymously analysed by researchers at The University of Manchester where CHC data scientists will look at changes in heart rate across the challenge period.
Sujo Anathhanam, Clinical Leadership Fellow and Elderly Care Registrar, at BIHR has been tracking her steps as part of CityMoves for the last few weeks, she said: “Like most people, I’m aware of the benefits of physical activity but incorporating this regularly into my daily routine isn’t something I’m very good at. My current job role is rather sedentary and I drive to work.
“The CityMoves challenge has made me think about how to make being active more of an everyday habit.
“At the start of the challenge my step count varied between 5,000 and 8,000 steps per day. I’ve been using CityMoves as an opportunity to compete with myself and do more. I’m now hitting the 10,000 step target more often and last weekend I went on a couple of walks in the local park.
“This week I swapped my car for public transport on a couple of days and have been getting off the bus two or three stops earlier than normal. I’ve also encouraged my friends and family to sign up to the challenge and have created a personalised leaderboard in the app which has increased everyone’s motivation.
“The app allows you to cheer on as well as gently taunt others’ performance! An unexpected benefit of all of this is that I’ve also felt closer to nature and been more appreciative of the natural beauty of autumn.”
Nick Rabb, Gastroenterology Consultant at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who cycles to work and enjoys climbing, has also signed up, he said: “From my work as a doctor I know that physical activity can boost mood, self-esteem, sleep quality and also has long term benefits in reducing the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
“If I could prescribe my patients physical activity on our electronic patient record I would do! As healthcare professionals, we have a public health responsibility to set an example to others.”
Sujo added: “CityMoves is also being used to raise awareness of Connected Health Cities and the work the programme delivers.
“The aim is for 15,000 people to participate in the step challenge across the whole of the North of England and it would be great if Bradford could make a big contribution.
“The project is being delivered across the four Connected Health Cities regions of Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Liverpool and the North West Coast, and Newcastle and the North East. Each region will be able to see how the amount of steps they have taken across the period compares with the others.
Connected Yorkshire have been doing a great job clocking up steps as part of CityMoves but the group are keen to improve and show the citizens of the other CHC regions what the people of Yorkshire are made of.
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