Twelve months on from Beat the Street Blaby and 83% reported they had continued changes made during the game
The Beat the Street game is coming to the whole of Leicester in May, and previous games in parts of the city suggest that it will have a significant impact on improving levels of physical activity among the population.
The programme turns a town or city into a real-life game by placing special sensors called Beat Boxes on lampposts; participants pick up a free card or fob and walk, cycle, run or wheel as far as possible between these to score points for their school, community or workplace teams with prizes for the teams that travel the furthest.
Beat the Street Leicester is being delivered by Intelligent Health and is funded by the National Lottery on behalf of Sport England, Leicester City Council, and the Canal & River Trust.
However, the game has previously been played in Blaby district in 2019 and 2020. The 2020 game took place from February to April and was delivered by Intelligent Health and funded by Blaby District Council, Leicestershire County Council, a National Lottery funding grant from Sport England and the Canal & River Trust.
Players who took part receive a survey after the game and again six and 12 months later on their feedback on their current activity levels to assess the impact of the physical activity game.
The findings include:
-83% reported they had continued changes made during Beat the Street.
-8 out of 10 inactive adults were active 12 months later.
-The proportion of adults meeting national physical activity guidelines increased by 13%, twelve months later.
-The proportion of players travelling by car to school or work on five or more days per week decreased by 11%.
Additionally, many players reported that Beat the Street had helped encourage them to walk or cycle more often, visit new places and spend more time with their friends and family. Feedback included comments such as:
“Going for a walk isn’t a chore now, walking the school run is enjoyable. And because of more regular walking, walks at the weekend in the countryside are more enjoyable.” — Female, aged 30-39
“After Beat the Street finished I was gutted..then Covid-19.. so I purchased a treadmill so I can continue to walk..love it especially when it’s raining but so glad I did Beat the Street..cannot wait until next time..touch woodðŸ˜‚” — Female, aged 50-59.
“We had a lovely route during Beat the Street to be able to get as many Beat Boxes as possible. We continued using the same route once the game had finished during lock down.” — Female, aged 30-39
“Carried on with walking and started to cycle more as a family, purchased a mountain bike. Family cycle rides for 6-8km every weekend.” — Female, aged 40-49
“New walking routes found during Beat the Street have been great during lockdown.” — Female, aged 30-39
“I enjoy being outside more.” — Boy, aged 12 to 18
“As a family we have continued to go on regular walks and when restrictions have allowed we have travelled to other local villages and towns for a walk, some that we found because of beat the street.” — Female, aged 40-49
Phil Mulligan, regional director for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We really enjoyed being part of Beat the Street Blaby and it’s great to see that local people felt the benefits of playing the game.
“We’re excited for the start of the Leicester game and, with research showing that spending time by the water can help us to feel happier and healthier, we hope lots of people in the city take the opportunity to discover all that our waterways have to offer.”
To take part in the Beat the Street Leicester game taking place from 26th May to 7th July, click onto www.beatthestreet.me/leicester or follow @BTSLeicester on social media.