Intelligent Health’s award-winning interventions connect individuals with their local environment and support long-term behaviour change by encouraging simple changes to every day behaviour that increase walking and cycling

Beat the Street uses gamification to create a social norm. ‘Beat Boxes’ are placed throughout an area which players find by walking and cycling. Individuals earn points by tapping game cards on these Beat Boxes. This records their journey as they walk and cycle. Individuals and teams compete to see whether they can reach a set target; achieve the most points and win prizes for their community group, charity or school.

The intervention removes the physical and emotional barriers people have to getting active and encourages individuals to switch from driving to travelling by foot or bicycle. Intelligent Health’s success in substantially increasing active travel has seen Beat the Street nominated for a Healthy Streets Award and take home Nudge and Smarter Travel Awards.

Our evidence shows that Beat the Street is incredibly effective at reducing inactivity and encouraging active travel. In the first six months of 2017, 150,000 people took part in Beat the Street with a 12% decrease in the proportion of people reporting walking for travel on 0-1 days in the past week, and a 14% increase in the proportion of players reporting frequent active travel after taking part in the seven week game.

In Autumn 2016, more than 29,000 residents in Hounslow took part in a Beat the Street programme designed to help them switch to active behaviours. At the start of the game, 50.5% of people reported taking zero trips in the past week by car, van or motorbike. After six weeks of participating in Beat the Street, this number had risen to 59.9%.

Additionally, our intervention in Hounslow lead to a substantial decrease in congestion outside of schools. Travel surveys were conducted before and during Beat the Street which showed a 26% reduction in the number of cars arriving at school gates during the game.

By changing people’s active travel habits, we can not only improve the health of a community but the environment. Six Beat the Street games in East London, Sandwell, Nottingham, Belfast, North Lanarkshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf saved more than 736,486 kilogrammes of CO2 emissions in 2016 — the equivalent of taking 144 cards off the road.

To find out more about how Beat the Street can increase active travel in your community, get in touch.