26% decrease in car use in East Renfrewshire thanks to Beat the Street!

The Beat the Street game that took place earlier this year in East Renfrewshire has encouraged local people to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives, a new report shows.

A total of 7,526 people walked, ran, cycled, rolled and wheeled 69,000 miles across the areas of Giffnock, Thornliebank, Clarkston, Busby, Eaglesham & Waterfoot, and Neilston during the recent Beat the Street game.

The initiative is delivered by Intelligent Health on behalf of East Renfrewshire Council, Paths for All’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme and the Scottish Government.

The game was set to take place from 19th February to 1st April but unfortunately had to be ended slightly early on 26th March owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the lockdown restrictions put in place.

A new report produced by Intelligent Health, the company that delivers Beat the Street, based on registration data and exit surveys from the game, has shown that players became more physically active as a result of taking part, helping improve the health of people across East Renfrewshire and beyond. The report also showed that participants are increasingly likely to consider active travel options for their journeys.

Participants were surveyed at the start of the game and immediately afterwards to see if their activity habits had changed. During registration 18% of adults were inactive – that is, did physical activity on zero to one day a week, and only 18% of children met the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines of an average of 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day.

After Beat the Street, there was an 8% decrease in the proportion of adults reporting being inactive and a 14% increase in the proportion achieving 150+ minutes of activity per week. There was an 11% increase in the proportion reporting being frequently active.

Other key results from the report include:

  • 26% decrease in car use
  • 10% increase in cycling
  • Data collected during the game points towards a strong increase in active travel with 31% of all taps recorded throughout the initiative being made during active travel periods.
  • Twelve schools took part and 18 community and charity teams, workplaces and sports clubs signed up.

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:

“My family and I walked more which was great exercise, quality time together and a great feeling of being part of something good for the school and the community”.

Children were also enthusiastic about the game: “Beat the Street helped me to get off my phone and get active. I loved doing it with and without my friends and I would scoot, cycle walk run or jog my way around Busby and Clarkston.”

“Encouraged to be even more active, taking longer route to and from school and wanting to go out in the evenings.”

“Beat the Street helped me get more fresh air and good street map sense.”

Councillor Tony Buchanan, Leader of East Renfrewshire Council, said: “Beat the Street has not only encouraged the local community to get more active, but has had a positive impact on getting families to spend time together exploring green spaces, plus helped people consider active travel rather than jumping in the car.

“We’re delighted at the findings in this report and to see the impact of Beat the Street, despite the outbreak of Coronavirus. We heard lots of lovely stories of the game’s impact, so it’s useful to have these findings confirmed in this data.”

 

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