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Intelligent Health – October Newsletter

By October 13, 2016March 9th, 2023No Comments


Intelligent Health has reached a monumental milestone this month as we have helped inspire more than half a million people across the world get active through our innovative Beat the Street initiative.

The campaign to make London into the world’s first National Park City has gained momentum this month with the release of a powerful video featuring representatives across nature, health and urban design. The video features Intelligent Health CEO and Founder – Dr William Bird – speaking about the potential health and wellbeing impact of the campaign.

Intelligent Health’s Ian Mitchell and Dr William Bird shared their knowledge on how to engage the most inactive people at a Think Tank session held by the Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy earlier this month.

Intelligent Health and Dumfries & Galloway Council picked up a Special COSLA Award this month for the impact of Beat the Street in Annan & Dalbeattie earlier this year. Beat the Street has also been featured in New Start Magazine as a positive example of building better cities.

We are also pleased to announce that Intelligent Health will be delivering Beat the Street in Milton Keynes in February 2017.


What is the perfect healthy day for a child?

A group of experts in Canada looked at all the evidence around the world to give guidance to parents about what level of activity, sitting and screen time is healthy for each child. This is their recommendation. A healthy 24 hours includes:

  • Uninterrupted 9-11 hours of sleep per night for those aged 5-13 yrs and 8-10 hours per night for those aged 14-17 years with consistent bed and wake up times.
  • An accumulation of at least 60 mins per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity involving a variety of aerobic activities. Vigorous physical activities and muscle and bone strengthening activities should each be incorporated at least 3 days per week.
  • Several hours of a variety of structured and unstructured light physical activities.
  • No more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time.
  • Limited sitting for extended periods.

Preserving sufficient sleep, trading indoor time for outdoor time, and replacing sedentary behaviours and light physical activity with additional moderate to vigorous physical activity can provide greater health benefits.

Tremblay, M.S., Carson, V., Chaput, J.P., Connor Gorber, S., Dinh, T., Duggan, M., Faulkner, G., Gray, C.E., Gruber, R., Janson, K. and Janssen, I., 2016. Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth: An Integration of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep 1. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 41(6), pp.S311-S327.

Do wearable technologies such as Fit Bits help weight loss?

This study of over 400 people used telephone advice and a website to improve weight loss. In the intervention group they also had a wearable device compared to self monitoring in the other group. The results showed that those wearing the wearable device lost weight less quickly than those that monitored themselves. This shows that technology on its own does not show the promise that people expect. Its about connecting to people to place!

Jakicic, J.M., Davis, K.K., Rogers, R.J., King, W.C., Marcus, M.D., Helsel, D., Rickman, A.D., Wahed, A.S. and Belle, S.H., 2016. Effect of Wearable Technology Combined With a Lifestyle Intervention on Long-term Weight Loss: The IDEA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 316(11), pp.1161-1171.

Can you still be healthy and sit around a lot?

Recently, sitting has been likened to the “new smoking” but new evidence shows that being very active (ie, about 60—75 min per day) can offset the bad effects of lots of sitting. Strangely this does not work for TV viewing which is still an independent risk factor. So if you can’t help sitting a lot at work then a brisk 30 min walk twice a day will offset the additional risk of being sedentary.

Ekelund, U., Steene-Johannessen, J., Brown, W.J., Fagerland, M.W., Owen, N., Powell, K.E., Bauman, A., Lee, I.M., Series, L.P.A. and Lancet Sedentary Behaviour Working Group, 2016. Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women. The Lancet, 388(10051), pp.1302-1310.


Following the launch of Beat the Street in Hounslow, Southall, Salford, Terni, Northern Ireland and Sudbury & Great Cornard – almost 90,000 people have already been encouraged into physical activity this Autumn. In the coming months, we expected to engage with thousands more people and create lasting, active communities.

Beat the Street has surpassed expectations in many areas it has been delivered this Autumn. In Sudbury & Great Cornard more than 20% of the local population have been engaged through the game, while in Stranraer one in three local residents are getting outdoors and active through Beat the Street. The success of the game in Stranraer received some recognition this week with coverage on ITV Border.

Our Autumn programmes have galvanised local communities into new activities. In Northern Ireland, a Beat the Street guided walk attracted more than 100 attendees this month while Stranraer Museum saw a giant boost in visitors as a result of the game.

Sustaining physical activity in communities is central to our engagement following the Beat the Street game. In Tendring, Beat the Street has appointed community champions of varying ages and abilities to work with our Engagement Team to signpost individuals to a variety of healthy activities in their area.

In Liverpool and East London, representatives from local schools and community groups came together to celebrate the success of Beat the Street in their communities which encouraged tens of thousands of people to get moving.


Beat the Street in 2016 continues to see enormous and growing health benefits in communities across the whole of the UK. The intervention is driven by the core goals of reducing levels of inactivity, increasing the percentage of the population meeting the chief medical officer’s physical activity guidelines, and increasing the use of active modes of transport.

The past year has seen us build upon the success in 2015 where across 11 projects, we saw a 6% decrease in inactivity, a 6% increase in people meeting CMO guidelines, and a 9% increase in people walking for 15 minutes or more on 5-7 days per week.

In 2016 across 15 projects so far, we have seen a 7% decrease in inactivity, a 13% increase in people meeting CMO guidelines and a 17% increase in people walking for 15 minutes on 5-7 days per week.

These results give us confidence that we can continually increase the number of physically active people across a whole population, with subtle changes to the intervention based on comprehensive evidence from each previous project. For this reason, we have begun to investigate the wider benefits of Beat the Street. In Stranraer in Scotland we have collected registration data on mental wellbeing using the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, from over 2000 people, we expect a comprehensive understanding of the association between Beat the Street and Mental wellbeing post-game.