Beat the Street has huge impact on physical activity levels in Clay Cross

A game that took place across the Clay Cross area has been hailed as a great success according to a new report.

Beat the Street took place over four weeks in October and November 2020 and was delivered by Active Derbyshire and North East Derbyshire District Council, funded by the National Lottery via Sport England, and managed by Intelligent Health. It turned the area into a real-life game where people were encouraged to form virtual teams and then to get out and score points based on the distance they walked, cycled, ran, scooted or rolled.

The initiative saw special sensors called Beat Boxes placed approximately half a mile apart on lampposts around the borough; participants moved between these and could score points by hovering their Beat the Street cards or fobs over them to score points for their school or workplace teams with prizes for the teams that went the furthest. A total of 2170 people took part and together walked, ran, cycled, rolled and wheeled 9,700 miles across the game area of Clay Cross, North Wingfield, Tupton, Grassmoor and Holmewood.

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 Clay Cross and the surrounding area.

Participants were surveyed at the start of the game and immediately afterwards to see if their activity habits had changed. During registration 36% of adults reported themselves as inactive – that is, did physical activity on zero to one day a week.

After Beat the Street, the proportion of adults reporting being inactive decreased from 36% to 22%, and the proportion reporting undertaking 150 minutes or more of exercise a week increased from 56% to 72%.  For children, 71% of less active children became active.

The Beat the Street Clay Cross game report also showed very positive comments from players who not only got more active, but also felt that the game had helped encourage them to walk or cycle more often, visit new places and spend more time with their family or support bubbles. Feedback included comments from children such as:

“It helped me to be more active than usual and it helped me get out more.”

“I enjoyed walking, seeing different places and I got to play on new parks in between Beat Boxes.”

“It helped me exercise with all of my family. We packed a bag and cycled to the majority of Beat Boxes. Really enjoyed it.”

“We have been out and about as a family, whatever the weather.”

Adults too, praised the initiative:

“It helped me make more of an effort to walk my children to school. We also made more of an effort over the weekends too and both children enjoyed it.”

“We went out for a walk most days to Beat the Street and found places we didn’t know existed.”

“It raised my physical activity and made my mental health better as I was running with my kids’ running team and could see their enjoyment.”

“Beat the Street has been such a great a motivational tool; we’ve really enjoyed walking to get points.”

North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Jeremy Kenyon said, “Beat the Street really was the talk of the town for the four weeks and has a hugely beneficial impact on people’s lifestyle habits. With COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that we find ways to help people get fitter and more active.

“Beat the Street has had a powerful impact on mental health too, and given people a real sense of purpose while things have been difficult.

“We’ve loved hearing feedback from players and lovely stories about the way that the game has helped people. We hope everyone will continue to build this daily activity into their lifestyle habits.”

Stuart Batchelor, Strategic Director at Active Derbyshire, said: “Being active is really important for physical and mental health. During the current restrictions this needs to be done locally and we hope that Beat the Street Clay Cross helped people to recognise that walking is a simple and easy way to stay active in their own communities.”