The Beat the Street Sheffield game helped 70% of less-active adults and 67% of less-active children to become more active
The Beat the Street Sheffield game that was played by more than 60,000 people this summer has encouraged 70% of less-active adults to become active.
A recent report into the impact of the game looked at player responses to see whether the game helped them develop healthy long-term habits. Players were surveyed before the game with 32,149 people providing information on their physical activity levels, long-term conditions, disability and mental wellbeing. At the end of the game, participants were invited to complete the health survey again, along with some additional questions to measure the impact of Beat the Street.
Beat the Street in Sheffield was the largest ever Beat the Street programme with more than 11% of the population (518,000) taking part. A total of 60,187 participants walked, jogged, ran, cycled, scooted and rolled a total of 452,870 miles between them during the course of the six-week game between 16 June and 28 July
The initiative was bought to the city by Move More and Sheffield City Council and delivered by Intelligent Health with funding from the National Lottery, Sport England and local partners. Move More is the physical activity strategy for Sheffield, which aims to create a healthier, happier and more connected Sheffield. Move More is an umbrella partnership which brings together local stakeholders, with a shared vision, to help build the profile of the role of physical activity and empower local projects and communities to create change. The strength of Move More lies in the buy in it has from partner organisations and leaders across the city who can champion the vision. Each Year Move More champion and deliver a different campaign aimed at engaging as many people as possible in physical activity. Beat the Street was the campaign for Move More Month in June 2021.
The programme set out to increase active travel, help community cohesion and also increase physical activity levels in both adults and children, with a particular focus on addressing health inequalities.
The programme was delivered across the city where 114 schools took part and more than 200 community and workplace teams competed together.
The report’s findings included:
-37% of Beat the Street participants were in the top 20% of deprived areas compared to 34.1% of the Sheffield population.
-19% of (registered) Beat the Street participants were from Black, Asian and other culturally diverse communities matching the 19% of the population of Sheffield.
-72% of registered participants were female (aged 16+).
-15% of players who registered to take part in Beat the Street self-reported as having a long-term medical condition.
-4% of players who registered to take part before the game self-reported as having a disability
-63% of respondents said that they had explored new areas of the city.#
-62% of respondents said that Beat the Street had helped them feel part of their local community.
-70% of adults and 67% of children had become active when surveyed at the end of the game.
-People also reported increased feelings of life satisfaction and worthwhileness and lower levels of anxiety.
-66% of respondents felt they had walked more during Beat the Street, 8% felt they had cycled more, and 2% had wheeled more (based on 4625 respondents).
The survey also enabled players to give feedback where the comments were overwhelmingly positive, including: “I thought Beat the Street was fantastic at getting us out as a family. Our son is autistic and it’s always a bit of a struggle to get him out for a walk, but he loved swiping his card and hearing the funny noises, so I think a great idea.”
“We made a more conscious effort as a family to take more time for walking and took the time before and after school.”
“Seeking Beat the Street boxes led me to discover a more circuitous, but beautiful and invigorating walk from the tram stop to work. I now walk for 40 minutes or so each morning. This came after a period of inactivity during the most recent lockdown”.
Anna Lowe from Move More who commissioned Beat the Street Sheffield said: “Reaching 11% of the local population through the game is phenomenal and as well as increasing levels of physical activity, the game also helped to connect several organisations that ended up working together to tackle issues such as social isolation and inactivity. We’re looking forward to building on all of the results of the Beat the Street game by connecting and supporting physical activity developments across the city.”
Beat the Street engagement coordinator Alasdair Menmuir added: “It gives me great pleasure to see and hear of the impact we had on the communities we worked with in Sheffield around physical activity, health inequalities, and the multiple barriers that communities face.”
Players will be contacted again for follow-up feedback six and 12 months after the game.