Increasing physical activity helps our health, happiness and community. Intelligent Health’s award-winning interventions not only tackle inactivity but make moving a way of life.

Beat the Street creates a social norm around physical activity by turning whole towns and cities into a giant game. The community-wide initiative helps people form new habits by challenging them to see how far they can walk, run or cycle over six weeks — although the game is simple it leads to major changes in behaviour with a 10% increase in the proportion of Beat the Street participants meeting Chief Medical Officer guidelines in 2017.

Our evidence shows that Beat the Street changes both behaviour and attitudes towards physical activity. In Northern Ireland, participants were asked six questions which help reveal an individual’s attitudes towards engaging in physical activity.

At registration, only 5% of players answered: “I do a lot of physical activity and I plan to continue”, which had risen to 38% six months later. Additionally, the proportion of people answering: “I know physical activity is important, but I don’t have the time or energy at the moment” dropped from 53% at registered to just 7% six months later.

The six-week game is just the beginning — we continue to engage with the community in the months following the challenge which is why we see long-term changes in behaviour months and years after Beat the Street.

In 2017, Beat the Street returned to East London which allowed us to compare changes in physical activity one year following the game in 2016. Matched data analysis showed that those who didn’t meet the CMO guidelines for physical activity increased their average days of activity from 3 days to 3.8 days in 2016. The results were even more impressive for those who were inactive – increasing their average days of activity from 0.6 days in 2016 to 3.4 days in 2017.

Average days of physical activity per week before and one year after Beat the Street East London, for those who were inactive and those not meeting Chief Medical Officer guidelines in 2016.

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