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It’s time to BeeActive!

BeeActive is one of the Health and Social Care projects within CityVerve which aims to help people achieve their daily walking goals with the help of behaviour change ‘nudges’, whilst at the same time discovering new things about the city of Manchester.

CityVerve is a smart cities Internet of Things (IoT) demonstrator project which aims to make Manchester a healthier and more efficient city for its citizens.  There are 4 themes within CityVerve; Health and Social Care, Travel and Transport, Energy and the Environment, Culture and the Public Realm.  BeeActive is one of the Health and Social Care projects which aims to help people achieve their daily walking goals with the help of behaviour change ‘nudges’ whilst at the same time discovering new things about the city of Manchester.

People will be invited to download the free BeeActive app to their smartphone.  The app will ask users to create an account and to set a personal daily steps goal.  The app will then provide some simple ‘nudges’ such as asking people to accept or decline a ‘mission’ to go for a walk at lunchtime.  Later on into the autumn months, once all of the technology along Oxford Road has been set up, BeeActive will be able to provide more personal ‘nudges’.  For example, if someone usually takes the bus to work along Oxford Road, the app will detect the location when someone is a few stops away from their usual bus stop and it will ‘nudge’ them to get off the bus and walk to work because it is a clear dry day, but traffic is busy up ahead and it will be quicker to walk than to stay on the bus, also getting you closer to your daily steps goal.  This will demonstrate how IoT works by pulling information about location, the weather, traffic and transport together to provide personalised ‘nudges’ to change behaviour.

We will engage with 4 main cohorts of people who live, work and study along or close to the Oxford Road Corridor, Central Manchester’s innovation district:

  1. Staff from the large employers (CMFT, UoM, MMU, MCC, MSP, RNCM etc)
  2. Students from UoM, MMU, RNCM
  3. CHAMP parents (all primary school children in Manchester are weighed and measured each year and CHAMP is a programme run by CMFT which asks parents to sign up and encourage healthy behaviours in their children)
  4. Students and staff from 5 or 6 secondary schools in the area

We will also be adding new missions which might suggest people take a cultural walk around Manchester following the Manchester Bee trail – this is where you follow the bees that are embossed on council property in Manchester; or we might add a mission to take a walk around Whitworth Park during a lunchtime; or encourage people to take part in the healthy lifestyle activities provided by their employer or place of study.

We would be happy for people to suggest types of missions that they might be interested in so that we can add them to the BeeActive app.