Beat the Street challenge helps keep people active in East Northamptonshire

Beat the Street was launched in East Northamptonshire in March to encourage more people to leave their car at home and walk or cycle instead
Beat the Street was launched in East Northamptonshire in March to encourage more people to leave their car at home and walk or cycle instead

An initiative designed to encourage people to walk, run and cycle more in East Northamptonshire has been hailed a success.

The Beat the Street challenge was launched earlier this year, with Beat Box sensors set up on lampposts around the district. These could be tapped with cards while participants walked or or cycled, to accrue points towards schools or charities.

Figures show that more than 8,000 people walked, ran and cycled 73,000 miles together from March to May.

Those taking part were surveyed before and after the challenge and a report by Intelligent Health, which delivered the initiative, revealed that 21 per cent of adult players did less than 30 minutes of exercise per week before the challenge, compared to 12 per cent afterwards.

The proportion of children who were doing less than 30 minutes of exercise a week decreased from 22 per cent before the game to 11 per cent afterwards.

Intelligent Health estimates that Beat the Street will lead to healthcare savings of just over £500,000 over the next five years.

Participants reported that the scheme encouraged them to walk or cycle more often, visit new places, spend more time with their friends and family and choose longer walking routes.

Points accrued were turned into cash for the Children’s Air Ambulance, with the charity receiving a donation of £500 last month.

Cllr Steven North, leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said: “We’re really encouraged by these results from Beat the Street. East Northamptonshire Council is committed to getting its residents more healthy and we hope to help improve the health and well-being for those in East Northamptonshire. In the coming months, Beat the Street will continue to engage with local residents and make sure that these changes continue long after the game’s finish.”