63% of Swindon adults and 32% of children who previously considered themselves ‘inactive’, increased their activity levels after the return of Beat the Street last year.
The impact of the third Beat the Street Swindon game shows that the interactive physical activity challenge helped thousands of local people get more active.
The game has been played three times in Swindon and the 2021 game achieved the highest number of miles so far. A total of 29,367 people (14% of the population) took part and travelled 319,875 active travel miles over the six-week game which took place between 15 September and 27 October 2021.
This time around, 16,790 people were surveyed on their levels of activity prior to the game. After the game, 12,082 people gave feedback enabling organisers to measure the impact of the game on their behaviour. The results show that Beat the Street helped local people who do very little activity become more active.
Beat the Street Swindon was funded by Swindon Borough Council working in partnership with Wiltshire and Swindon Sport (WASP), and Swindon Healthy Schools.
The programme also aimed to promote active and sustainable modes of travel. Taps on Beat Boxes show that the game encouraged people to use active modes of travel to get to school and work, and that 34% of all activity undertaken was between 8-9am and 3-4pm.
Another aim of Beat the Street is to promote overall mental wellbeing, particularly in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Participants also completed questions about their mental health and wellbeing with the findings demonstrating that the initiative has led to improved mental wellbeing for adults, with participants reporting increased feelings of happiness and reduced anxiety.
Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “Beat the Street created a real buzz in our community last autumn and got thousands of people up on their feet and moving.
“As well as having positive benefits on residents’ health, the game also encouraged people to ditch the car and find more environmentally-friendly ways to travel around the Borough.
“To help residents maintain the healthy lifestyle habits they adopted during Beat the Street, we’ve just launched the Active Swindon Challenge app.
“This brand new fitness app allows residents to take part in time limited challenges, record their journeys around the Borough and most importantly, stay active during the winter months. The app is free to download on iOS and Android devices in the App Store and through Google Play, respectively.
“I’d encourage anybody who took part in Beat the Street to give our new app a go and build positive habits that last a lifetime.”
A six-month follow up survey will be sent out to Beat the Street players in March 2022 to help assess long term behaviour change and raise awareness of local provision to keep people active.
The previous two games delivered in Swindon were successful in achieving behaviour change amongst players. In 2018, 31,892 participants took part and in 2019, 25,979 people took part.
To find out other ways you can stay active and reduce your impact on the environment, visit the Be the Change webpages: www.swindon.gov.uk/bethechange