Beat the Street Leicester helps 68% of inactive adults and 61% of less active children to become more active

 

 

The six-week initiative that turned Leicester into a giant physical activity game in the summer has helped thousands of people of all ages to get moving.

Beat the Street took place from 26th May to 7th July and was a free game that inspired people of all ages and abilities to make positive lifestyle changes. Using special sensors called Beat Boxes which were attached to lampposts around the city, the game rewarded school, workplace and community teams with prizes for clocking up active travel miles. One hundred of the city’s 107 primary schools took part and Glebelands Primary School came top of the total points leaderboard.

A total of 40,461 people took part in the game and walked, cycled and rolled 434,642 miles. At the beginning of the game, 22% of adults and 29% of children described themselves as being inactive or less active. After the game, 68% of adults and 61% of children were lifted out of inactivity (adults) or low levels of activity (children).  Additionally, there was a 10% increase in the proportion achieving 150+ minutes of activity per week.

The game also aimed to reduce the number of car journeys across the city and to increase active travel, reduce air pollution and also to improve mental health by helping people exercise safely with friends and family in green spaces and near the waterways. Following Beat the Street, 38% of players felt they had used the canal or river towpaths more often as a result of the game. Data collected before and after Beat the Street showed a 10% increase in the percentage of people using the towpaths in the past week and a 6% increase in the proportion of people using the towpaths daily.

Participants had the opportunity to give feedback in their surveys and comments included: “It enabled me to spend time outdoors with my children. My children were happy and it reduced the amount of time they spent on their devices. All round happy mum and children”, plus “Beat the street has helped us whilst partaking in this competition. I realised how nature can play a big part in our daily lives. Taking walks has helped me to clear my mind and has overall made me feel more relaxed and happy. I have begun to find joy in the littlest of things in nature from the leaves to the trees.”

Beat the Street is being delivered by Intelligent Health and is funded by the National Lottery and Sport England on behalf of Leicester City Council and the Canal and River Trust.

A six month follow up survey will be sent out to player shortly which will look at long term behaviour change.

 

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