Walking and cycling game boosts active travel in Colchester

SERP BTS Colchester

The Beat the Street walking and cycling initiative, which turned Colchester and Tiptree into a giant game last autumn, has helped encourage residents to become more active, according to a new report.

Delivered on behalf of Colchester Borough Council and Livewell Colchester, Beat the Street ran from 20 September to 8 November and rewarded local residents with points and prizes for exploring the town on foot or by bicycle.

Schools across Colchester competed against each other to win sports and fitness equipment, while adult players formed teams to also win prizes.

In total, more than 13,000 residents took part, running, walking and cycling almost 100,000 miles over the seven weeks.

The ‘end of game’ report produced by Intelligent Health – the company that delivers Beat the Street – compared physical activity levels before and after the game. It found:

  • The proportion of people reporting as inactive (doing 0-30 minutes of exercise in the past week) decreased from 12% to 8%.
  • The proportion of adults walking or cycling for travel for 10 minutes or longer, on five or more days in the past week, increased from 65% before Beat the Street to 68% immediately after.
  • The proportion of adults reporting that they did zero walking or cycling for travel in the past week decreased from 10% to 6% immediately after.

The report estimates the changes in physical activity as a result of the game will lead to £1.4m in savings as a result of public health benefits over the next five years.

Cllr Tim Young, deputy leader of Colchester Borough Council, said:

“I’m delighted that the Beat the Street game was so well received in Colchester and that the end of game report highlights the positive impact the game had on local residents’ lives and levels of activity.

“Although the game ended in November, it’s fantastic that its legacy continues and the team are continuing to encourage residents to stay active with further projects and initiatives.”

10 April 2018

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